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Synchronized optical and electrical characterization of discotic liquid crystals thin films

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5 Author(s)
Calo, Annalisa ; CNR-Institute for the Study of Nanostructured Materials (ISMN), Via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna, Italy ; Stoliar, Pablo ; Cavallini, Massimiliano ; Geerts, Yves H.
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We describe a setup suitable for simultaneously measuring optical and electrical properties of a liquid crystal mesophase upon temperature variation, and the difference in the order parameters between the bulk and the interface with the substrate. It integrates high-resolution polarized light optical microscopy, temperature regulation, and electrical measurements in a controlled atmosphere with a software kernel that controls the instruments and synchronizes the data streams. A user-friendly interface allows us to program multistep experiments controlling all the instruments and data acquisition by a specifically designed scheduler. We tested our system on a thin film of alkoxy-substituted phthalocyanines deposited on a test pattern with interdigitated electrodes. We studied the optical and electrical behavior in the proximity of the bulk phase transition to isotropic liquid, identifying a few ordered monolayers anchored to the substrate above the transition temperature.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:81 ,  Issue: 3 )