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Keywords:

  • discotic liquid crystals;
  • alignment;
  • optical microscopy;
  • conduction
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

An optical micrograph taken by R. J. Bushby and co-workers using crossed polarizers shows a thin film of 1,4,8,11,15,18,22,25-octaoctylphthalocyanine in its columnar rectangular liquid crystal phase at 100 °C. In such thin, open-to-the-air films, the columns are aligned in-plane but follow random sweeping lines. However, when open-to-the-air films are confined within micrometer-scale channels formed from SU8, all of the columns are aligned and point in the same direction, as shown on page 5997.