Kalpana Upadhyaya, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, May 2013

Kalpana Upadhyaya is DST inspire research fellow at Assam University, Silchar, India. She completed Masters in Chemistry and continuing the doctoral programme with Prof. Nandiraju V S Rao, Department of Chemistry, Assam University. The doctoral programme related to the design, synthesis and characterization of four-ring bent-core liquid crystals with a biphenyl possessing polar substituent at one end of the molecule and a polar substituent in the transverse direction. Her research interest focuses on the biaxial nematics and emissive liquid crystals
This picture was obtained for a four ring compound with 2-chloro-3-amino-benzoic acid as the central core and 4-cyano-4’-hydroxybiphenyl at one end of the ring and a salicyldimine moiety bearing a hexyloxy chain at the other end. The texture was taken on a Nylon 6,6 coated glass plate under a Nikon polarising optical microscopy equipped with INSTEC hotstage HSC302. This texture obtained at 117.8°C using a 20x objective indicates to be a nematic phase.

Jury comment: The May 2013 ILCS picture of the month shows an especially beautiful nematic Schlieren texture. The colors are unusually rich and varied, and the image gains added interest from the fact that the texture was produced by a "weakly bent" bent-core mesogen.