Md Lutfor Rahman, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, March 2013

Md Lutfor Rahman was born in Rajbari (Kachari para, Pangsha), Bangladesh. He received B. Sc and M. Sc in Chemistry from Rajshahi University. Later he obtained PhD in Polymer Chemistry from Universiti Putra Malaysia. After long work in Malaysian Universities, currently Dr. Lutfor is working as Associate Professor at Faculty of Industrial Sciences and Technology of Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). Meanwhile he was engaged on liquid crystals project under Professor Carsten Tschierske at Martin Luther University, Halle, Germany with DAAD fellowship in 2003. His current research interest is the synthesis of novel bent / disc-shaped liquid crystals polymers having azo chromophores which can be switched optically and convert to optical storage devices. Several bent-shaped materials are highly anisotropic in nature and can also be used as aligning layer for liquid crystals display for future generation. His liquid crystals group at UMP comprises with one senior academic Prof. Mashitah Mohd Yusoff and several academic staff including Dr. Gurumurthy Hegde. He has active collaboration and frequent visit with liquid crystals research group headed by Professor Sandeep Kumar at Raman Research Institute, Bangalore, India.
The texture was obtained from a bent-shaped liquid crystal derived from resorcinol as core and azobenzenes at both arms with terminal double bonds. Upon slow cooling from the isotropic melt, the B1 phase fully forms a mosaic texture which is recognized as columnar rectangular structure as determined by X-ray diffraction.

The sample was studied between two untreated glass slides and the texture was captured at 147°C with a 10 × objective in Olympus BX51 polarizing optical microscope equipped with a Mettler Toledo FP82HT hot stage, an FP90 central processor unit and an Olympus DP26 digital camera. The horizontal picture width is 200 µm.

Jury comment: There are wonderful images of columnar phases represented in the ILCS "Liquid Crystal Beauty" archive, but none to date showing the often exceptionally beautiful B1 (columnar) textures sometimes seen for bent-core materials. This image was chosen for the beautiful colors, high quality of the photomicrograph, and pleasing way the domains seem to fit together like pieces of a puzzle, forming a rather dramatic mosaic.