Three-dimensional textures and defects of soft material layering revealed by thermal sublimation

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Layering is found and exploited in a variety of soft material systems, ranging from complex macromolecular self-assemblies to block copolymer and small-molecule liquid crystals. Because the control of layer structure is required for applications and characterization, and because defects reveal key features of the symmetries of layered phases, a variety of techniques have been developed for the study of soft-layer structure and defects, including X-ray diffraction and visualization using optical transmission and fluorescence confocal polarizing microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and SEM and transmission electron microscopy, including freeze-fracture transmission electron microscopy. Here, it is shown that thermal sublimation can be usefully combined with such techniques to enable visualization of the 3D structure of soft materials. Sequential sublimation removes material in a stepwise fashion, leaving a remnant layer structure largely unchanged and viewable using SEM, as demonstrated here using a lamellar smectic liquid crystal.
Publisher
NATL ACAD SCIENCES
Issue Date
2013-11
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

FOCAL CONIC DOMAINS; LIQUID-CRYSTAL; ARRAYS; PHASE; CONFINEMENT

Citation

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, v.110, no.48, pp.19263 - 19267

ISSN
0027-8424
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1317922110
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/188961
Appears in Collection
NT-Journal Papers(저널논문)CBE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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