Journal of thermal analysis

, Volume 37, Issue 8, pp 1949–1955 | Cite as

Thermodilato-microscopy of liquid crystals

  • J. M. Buisine
  • G. Joly
  • M. Chhiba


Liquid crystals exhibit successively several fluids and/or viscous phases and therefore microscopical methods play an important role for their characterization. No really efficient routine dilatometric method exist for rather small samples. By simple addition of a Michelson's interferometer objective and a photo-multiplier to the basic equipment for the investigation of liquid crystals — i.e. a polarizing microscope associated to a heating and cooling stage — dilatometric investigations as well as studies of phase transitions are getting accessible. In fact, when a droplet of liquid crystal, set up in a spherical stamp, is lightened through the interferometer with a quasi monochromatic source, equal thickness circular fringes are observable on the surface of the sample. A thermal expansion of the droplet leads to displacements of these fringes. The principle for the measurement of the volume changes consists by recording, versus the temperature, the variations of the light intensity of the central fringe. The volume of the sample, at given temperatures, is determined from photomicrographs of the whole interference feature. This volume is lower than 0.1 mm3. Experiments on the pure compound octyl-cyanobiphenyl show that the method is convenient for the detection of the phase transition, even if the transformation is weakly first order asSA -N. Tested with a commercial ternary mixture the expansivity of phases and the transitions volumes changes can be deduced from experiments.


Liquid Crystal Ternary Mixture Polarize Microscope Cool Stage Basic Equipment 
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Flüssige Kristalle besitzen mehrere flüssige und viskose Phasen, so dass zu ihrer Charakterisierung mikroskopische Methoden eine grosse Bedeutung besitzen. Zur Zeit besteht keine routinemÄssig einsetzbare dilatometrische Methode im Mikromassstab. Durch die Erweiterung eines Mikroskopes mit einem Interferometer nach Michelson und unter Einsatz eines Photoelektronenvervielfachers bei gleichzeitiger Verwendung eines Kühl- und Heiztisches werden sowohl dilatometrische Messungen als auch Untersuchungen von Phasenumwandlungen zugÄnglich.

Es werden in der vorliegenden Arbeit Messungen an Oktyl-cyano-biphenyl und an einer ternÄren Mischung dargestellt und diskutiert.


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Copyright information

© Wiley Heyden Ltd., Chichester and Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Buisine
    • 1
  • G. Joly
    • 1
  • M. Chhiba
    • 1
  1. 1.Equipe de Dynamique des Cristaux MoleculairesUniversite des Sciences et Techniques de Lille Flandres-ArtoisVilleneuve D'ascq CedexFrance

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