Ambika Bawa, featured ILCS liquid crystal artist, February 2020

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Ambika Bawa is currently working as a Ph.D. student under the guidance of Dr. A. M. Biradar in the “Liquid Crystal Group”, CSIR- National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, India. My Ph.D work includes the study of behaviour of the helical structure in Smectic C* phase associated with surface anchoring energy in the confined cell geometry for the ferroelectric liquid crystal based devices. Her research interests focus on the ferroelectric liquid crystal and its related electro-optical devices and sensing applications.
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The sample of ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLC) having short helical pitch are prepared with one substrate open to air. The image shows the focal conic defects with hexagonal positioning. The focal conic defect exhibits the helical pitch in the form of concentric rings.
Jury comment: The combination of  the closed packed helices in a hexagonal lattice together with a chirality of the helices is in my view very impressive; illustrating self assembly on various length scales in a very nice manner.