Atiqur Rahman Laskar is working as a graduate research fellow with Prof. Nandiraju V. S. Rao, Department of Chemistry, Assam University, Silchar, India. His doctoral dissertation is directed towards the design and synthesis of banana shape columnar and nematic liquid crystalline molecules and their nano segregation in shape dependent molecular assemblies. His current research interest is to study the phase structure of polarization modulated layer undulated chiral B7 and B1RevTilt phases and exotic nematic phases exhibited by four ring achiral bent-core mesogens. He completed his bachelor degree in chemistry (major) from Cachar College, Silchar, Cachar, Assam in 2004 and masters in chemistry from Assam University, Silchar, India in 2006. Special thanks to Dr. Nirmalangshu Chakraborty for his consult on the phase structure.
The image is of a four-ring bent core compound which resembles fingerprint texture of equally spaced stripes in focal conic fans similar to that found in homeotropic (freely suspended film) B7 preparations which was taken in uncovered free-drop droplets in B7 phase. These optical textures are found to grow through a process of nucleation, growth and coalescence over a period of time of few hours depending on the thickness of the sample. The picture was taken at 112.5oC on Nikon Polarizing microscope attached with Instec STC 200 hot stage and Nikon Digital sight DS-Fi1 digital camera. The image height is about 100 microns.
Jury comment: The B7 phase provides very striking liquid crystal polarized photomicrographs. This image, showing the texture formed at a free surface at air of a B7 sample, is captivating due to the nice juxtaposition of chaos and order.