M.H. Godinho is an Assistant Professor in the Materials Science Department of the Faculty of Science and Technology, New University of Lisbon, and a researcher in the Polymeric and Mesomorphic Materials group of the Materials Research Center (CENIMAT) in Portugal. Her research is mainly focused on several aspects of the molecular, mesoscopic (nano and micro scale) and macroscopic properties and behaviour of soft materials and complex fluids, namely cellulosic liquid crystals. She graduated in Chemical Engineering from Instituto Superior Técnico, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal and received her D.Sc, PhD and MSc in Materials Science from the New University of Lisbon, Portugal. She is a former Nato/Invotan fellow at the Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée at Nice University in France.

Web page: http://www.dcm.fct.unl.pt/dcm/info/?id=17

Maria Helena Figueiredo Godinho, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, September 2010

The picture shows a sheared film of a lamellar ionic liquid crystal. A N-alkylimidazolium salt was used and the morphology observed is typical of (wet) liquid foams showing partition into dark domains separated by brighter (birefringent) walls, which are approximately arcs of circle and meet at "Plateau borders" with three or more sides. Where walls meet three at a time, they do so at approximately 120-degree angles. We conjecture that the bright walls are regions of high concentration of defects produced by shear, and that the system is dominated by the interfacial tension between these walls and the uniform domains. For more details see our work:

M. H. Godinho; C. Cruz; P. I. C. Teixeira; A. J. Ferreira; C. Costa; P. S. Kulkarni; C. A. M. Afonso, Liquid Crystals 35 (2008) 103.
C. Cruz, M. H. Godinho, A. J. Ferreira, P. S. Kulkarni, C. A. M. Afonso and P. I. C. Teixeira, Philosophical Magazine Letters 88 (2008) 741.
A.J. Ferreira, C. Cruz, M. H. Godinho, P. S. Kulkarni, C. A. M. Afonso and P. I. C. Teixeira, Liquid Crystals 37 (2010) 377.

The picture was taken on an Olympus BH polarizing optical microscope with 50X objective and Olympus camera C5060WZ. The image size is approximately 120 x 90 μm.

Jury comment: This month's picture was chosen by a graduate student who felt that the simplicity and elegance of the picture was unusually attractive.