Surface-Assisted Monodomain Formation of a Lyotropic Liquid Crystal
We produced a monodomain ordered structure with the help of a surface-mediated first-order transition, using a sponge-to-lamella transition in a membrane suspension as a model system. The long characteristic length and time scales of the system allow us to observe the process of the phase ordering in a confined geometry with optical microscopy in real time. We demonstrate that a homogeneously ordered domain can be attained if we prevent nucleation in bulk by using its kinetic coupling to nucleation on the surface.
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