Maciej Czajkowski, featured ILCS liquid crystal artist, January 2022

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His PhD studies at Wrocław University of Science and Technology involved studies of dynamics of photoinduced effects in azobenzene liquid crystals. He is currently working in Advanced Materials Synthesis Group at Łukasiewicz Research Network - PORT Polish Center for Technology Development in Wrocław (Poland), where his research activities included liquid crystals doped with various materials, as: nanomaterials, luminophores and ionic liquids. He was a principal investigator in a project (National Science Centre, Poland, grant no. 2016/21/D/ST5/01674) entitled "Fabrication and characteristics of new liquid-crystalline materials comprising chiral ionic compounds for application in light modulators", in which synthesis and characterization of the mixtures of liquid crystals with chiral ionic liquids were performed. The microphotograph was taken during searching for miscibility between liquid crystals and chiral ionic liquids.

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Resarch interest of Advanced Materials Synthesis Group can be found at website:
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A flower-like texture from the cholesteric phase 'fingers' nucleating and growing around the isotropic liquid domains, related to chiral ionic liquid phase. Specific texture is probably concerned with the diffusion of the chiral dopant and its enhanced concentration around the domains of the chiral ionic liquid. The microphotograph was taken in a mixture composed of E7 liquid crystal host doped with 5 wt% of chiral ionic liquid based on imidazolium-based cation substituted with chiral menthoxymethyl substituents.
Jury comment: The picture has been chosen for its aesthetic beauty and artistic sense, definition of the texture and for being representative of a complex liquid crystal system.