Substrate-induced phases: transition from a liquid-crystalline to a plastic crystalline phase via nucleation initiated by the substrate

Basab Chattopadhyay, Christian Ruzié, Roland Resel, Yves Henri Geerts*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The presence of substrate-induced phases in thin films is an intriguing phenomenon with the physical and chemical factors responsible for their formation are not yet clearly understood. In this article, we present the structure and morphological changes associated with a substrate-induced phase in a discotic liquid crystal. The thin films of the discotic molecule are characterised by a combination of various X-ray diffraction methods to investigate the structural properties. Atomic force microscopy and polarised optical microscopy are used to determine the thin film morphologies. This is the first experimental proof of the presence of a substrate-induced phase in discotic liquid crystal, although they are known in thin films of molecular crystals. Moreover, we sought to decipher how the substrate-induced phase behaves with the evolution of time, temperature and changes at the interfaces. This work gives a unique example where the two-dimensional liquid-crystalline phase converts to a three-dimensional crystal plastic phase because of nucleation caused by the solid substrate over a time scale of a month or longer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-309
JournalLiquid Crystals
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

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