A new phase of a known discotic liquid crystal is observed at the interface with a rigid substrate. The structure of the substrate-induced phase has been characterized by atomic force microscopy, specular X-ray diffraction, and small-angle and wide-angle grazing incidence X-ray diffraction. The substrate-induced phase, which has a thickness of ∼30 nm and a tetragonal symmetry, differs notably from the bulk phase. The occurrence of such phase casts a new light on alignment of discotic liquid crystals.
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