Andreia F. M. Santos, featured ILCS liquid crystal artist, October 2022

Stacks Image 238
Andreia F. M. Santos is a PhD student in Sustainable Chemistry at NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT-NOVA), Portugal. Her main scientific interests are: i) synthesis and characterization of novel ionic liquids crystals through sustainable methods and ii) thermal analyses conducted by Differential Scanning Calorimetry. She has worked on the development of novel electrochromic materials, as well as new strategies to stabilize pharmaceutical drugs. Currently, she is exploring ionic liquid crystals as chromogenic materials.

Research Gate profile:

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9395-3112

Google Scholar ID: rxwMDK4AAAAJ&hl

Contact e-mail: afm.santos(at)
Stacks Image 219
The POM image discloses the amazing texture resembling a hummingbird. Ionic liquid crystal, 1-hexadecyl-2-methylpyridinium bromide, at room temperature, after being heated to the lamellar liquid crystalline phase, between crossed polarizers. X-Ray Diffraction studies revealed that the mesophase observed, at higher temperature, is a bilayer smectic A phase formed by the assembling of the cation’s alkyl chains.
Jury comment: The microphotography shows defects that are characteristic in the field and very suggestive, thus it reveals a figure that evokes a hummingbird. Once again POM shows how liquid crystals combine science and artistic aspects, so the microphotography is highly attractive from an aesthetic and artistic point of view.
However, it will undoubtedly be of great interest to provide some additional information on the type of liquid crystal phase and the molecular organization that originate this texture.