Cholesteric Unwinding in the Phase Transition Region

Cholesteric Unwinding in the Phase Transition Region

The cholesteric liquid crystalline DNA phase begins to unwind and form batonnets at the interface between this phase and the higher density hexatic phase. Regions that are in transition are often birefringent with higher order colors, as illustrated in the photomicrograph above. The magnification is approximately 450x, and the image was recorded on Fujichrome 64T transparency film using a Nikon Optiphot-Pol microscope with crossed polarized illumination. Exposures were recorded about 2 f-steps under the recommended value given by an in-camera photomultiplier and were push-processed approximately 1.25 f-steps in the first E-6 developer.

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