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Influence of mesoscopic structures on single molecule dynamics in thin smectic liquid crystal films

: Schulz, B.; Taeuber, D.; Schuster, J.; Baumgaertel, T.; Borczyskowski, C. von


Soft matter 7 (2011), Nr.16, S.7431-7440
ISSN: 1744-683X
ISSN: 1744-6848
Fraunhofer ENAS ()

Mesoscopic structures in liquids have an impact on the diffusion dynamics of the constituting molecules. Smectic 8CB liquid crystals on silicon wafers show the formation of mesoscopic structures on the ?m scale at a film thickness of 200 nm. Depending on the kind of substrate (thermally grown or native SiOx), we observed the formation of focal conic domains (FCDs) and a new type of terraced holes, respectively. Dynamics are described via single perylene diimide tracer molecule tracking of translational diffusion and in the case of FCDs by a combination of translation and rotation detected via fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Tailoring perylene diimide molecules such that the optical transition dipole moment follows the liquid crystal director allows mapping out FCDs and investigating the dynamics within a single FCD.