Bruno Zappone, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, February 2012

Bruno Zappone is a research scientist at the Italian National Research Council. His main interests are in the surface properties, nanomechanics and nanotribology of liquid crystals, biopolymers and soft materials. He is currently studying periodic 1D and 2D defect domains that nucleate and self-assemble in thin smectic liquid crystal films due to incompatible boundary conditions [1]. Such domains contain uncommon arrangements of smectic layers, including curvature walls, virtual singularities and frustration, and can be used as host materials to organize nano-objects over a large length scale [2].

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per i Processi Chimico-Fisici (CNR-IPCF)
UOS Cosenza @Università della Calabria
email: follow website link to Personnel

[1] B. Zappone, C. Meyer, L. Bruno and E. Lacaze, "Periodic lattices of frustrated focal conic defect domains in smectic liquid crystal films", Soft Matter (2012), in press
[2] D. Coursault , J. Grand, B. Zappone, H. Ayeb, G. Lévi, N. Félidj and E. Lacaze, "Linear self-assembly of nanoparticles within liquid crystal defect arrays", Advanced Materials (2012), in press
Thin film of smectic A liquid crystal deposited on a solid substrate inducing undirectional planar anchoring, featuring a periodic lattice of focal conic defect domains. The image, obtained with an Atomic Force Microscope, shows the height modulations of the air interface, inducing normal anchoring. The nucleation and ordered self-assembly of eccentric focal conic defects partially relieves the stress induced by the incompatible boundary constraints. Lateral scale - 15 microns, height scale - 40 nm. [B. Zappone et al, Soft Matter (2012), in press]

Jury comment: Order and disorder harmonically together.