Aloir Antonio Merlo, featured ILCS liquid crystal artist, October 2019

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Aloir Antonio Merlo is a full professor at Institute of Chemistry, UFRGS, Brazil. His research is focused on design, synthesis and characterization of liquid crystals molecules. Currently his students are dealing with the synthesis of polar smectic mesophases, the use of Diels-Alder reaction, [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangment, and the exploration of glycerol as a template fo polyfunctional materials. All of them are chemically connected to the cousin molecules isoxazoline and isoxazole that have been studing since 2005. External collaborations are fundamental to our sucess in the arena of liquid crystals. Many thanks to the groups of Prof. Ivan H. Bechtold (Physics Department, UFSC, Brazil), Dr. Richard J. Mandle (Chemistry Department, York, UK), Dr. Neil T. Kamp, Dr. Ali Adawi, Prof. Stephen M. Kelly (School of Mathematics/ Physical Sciences and Chemistry Department, Hull, UK) and Prof. David M. Walba (SMRC, CU Boulder, USA), as well as our agencies for grant – CNPq, CAPES, FAPERGS and my institution UFRGS. In his spare time Aloir is involved in Bonsai art.
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Picture was taken after sample RR503 enters to B3 crystal phase below smectic polar mesophase (SmAPf or SmCPf). RR503 is a Schiff base containing isoxazoline ring obtained by [3+2]-1,3-dipolar cycloaddition synthetized during the PhD of Rafaela R. da Rosa. The sample was analyzed by PLOM using 50x of magnification at room temperature using comercial cell. The scale bar is shown in the picture.
Jury comment: This picture represents a nice example of fan textures of a bent-core liquid crystal material in the B3 phase.