A topographic image of a liquid crystal (LC) structure (Methyl-2,3,6,7-tetrakis(dodecyloxy)dibenzo[a,c]phenazine-11-carboxylate) grown on an aminopropylsilatrane (APS) modified silicon substrate. The discotic LC molecules were dissolved in benzene to a concentration of 10-3 M and then dip coated onto the APS coated silicon surface. Molecular alignment and growth depends on many factors, for example, inter- and intra-molecular interactions, solvent effects, and substrate effects. AFM images provide detailed information on the growth of the crystalline structures. Liquid crystals are currently being studied for use in applications such as electroluminescence, photovoltaic, and optical phase compensation materials. Imaged with the MFP-3D AFM.
Image courtesy of S. Hsieh and Y. Liu, National Sun Yat-sen University, Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.