Nazma Begum, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, July 2013

Nazma Begum, UGC-MANF-Senior research fellow is a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, Assam University, Silchar under the guidance of Prof. Nandiraju V.S Rao. She obtained her B.Sc (2006) and M.Sc (2009) degrees from the Goalpara College, Assam, India and Assam University, Silchar, India.

Her research objective is related to the synthesis and characterization of unsymmetrical hockey-stick shaped four-ring bent-core mesogens derived from various substituted azo dyes.
The texture is taken under a Nikon polarising optical microscopy equipped with INSTEC hotstage HSC302. This texture obtained at 238.6°C using a 20x objective indicates to be a nematic droplet. The compound is 4-((4-(decyloxy)benzoyl)oxy)benzoic acid, a rod-like thermotropic liquid crystal.

Jury comment: While images of nematic LCs coming from the isotropic in droplets are well known, none has yet appeared as an ILCS LC picture of the month. This month's image, of nematic droplets forming from the isotropic phase at high temperature, deserves special consideration due to the high quality of the image overall, and the hypnotic shapes and coloring seen in the "floating," dichromatic spheres.