Satoshi Aya, featured ILCS liquid crystal artist, March 2020

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Satoshi Aya received his Ph.D degree in materials engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology in 2014 under the supervision of Prof. Hideo Takezoe and Prof. Ken Ishikawa. He is a professor in South China University of Technology in China since 2019. His principal interests are the physicochemical properties of soft matter, particularly in liquid crystals, colloids, polar materials, and application of machine learning method to materials science, etc.
Homepage: Link1, Link2.
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The image shows the coexistence of three types of smectic A texture of 8CB during the nematic-smectic A phase transition. From the left to the right part of the photograph, focal conic texture stacked in a zig-zag manner, spherical focal conic texture and elongated cone texture can be observed, respectively. No surface treatment was made to the glass plates of the cell. Picture width is 680 microns.
Jury comment: The picture of three coexisting textures of 8CB in the SmA phase is very aesthetic and as well as instructive. It show beautifully the diversity of different textures of the SmA phase. The composition is striking with different fields of colour with high visual contrasts and as a picture it looks very dynamic.