Publication Title

Physical Review E

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absorption fine-structure, electron-energy-loss, self-organization, shell excitation, inner-shell, mesophases, phase, photoabsorption, transmission, alignment




Soft x-ray spectromicroscopy has been used to investigate the degree of the molecular alignment of sulfonated benzo[de]benzo[4.5]imidazo[2,1-a]isoquinoline[7,1], a lyotropic chromonic liquid crystal (LCLC). LCLC thin films cast from concentrated aqua solution (20 % wt.), aligned by shear flow and dried, show strong linear dichroism in their C-, N-, O-, S-K edge near edge x-ray spectra (NEXAFS). The carbon K edge has been used for quantitative evaluation of the orientational texture of the films at a submicron spatial scale. This has verified there is predominantly in-plane alignment of the LC director. To highlight the role of hydrophobic-hydrophilic interactions, two stereoisomers of the same dye has been synthesized with different positioning of terminal sulfonate groups, in the form of a mixture of isomers with sulfonate groups in 2,10 and 2,11 positions (Y104 compound) and in a 5,10-disulfo arrangement (Y105). Both compounds develop characteristic herringbone-type texture with similar domain sizes. Polarized optical microscopy and higher resolution x-ray microscopy show sinusoidal-like undulations of the molecular director, with occasional crisscross appearance. Such behavior is found to be consistent with earlier observation of striations, characteristic of the columnar phase. The drastic difference in the degree of undulation (+/- 15 degrees in Y104 and +/- 7 degrees in Y105 films) and long period of undulation (approaching the film thickness) requires further analysis. It was also found that the degree of in-plane order within domains changes from 0.8 for Y104 to > 0.9 in Y105 films.


Copyright 2007 American Physical Society. Available on publisher's site at

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