Sharp Boundaries in Transition Regions

Sharp Boundaries in Transition Regions

Employing short DNA fragments of defined molecular length increases the speed and sharpens the boundaries in liquid crystalline phase transitions. The image presented above illustrates the transition from cholesteric to high density mesophases in DNA controlled drying experiments. A sharp transition region appears between the yellow striated high density phase and the light blue cholesteric region. The DNA concentration in this experiment is approximately 300 milligrams per milliliter, and the photomicrograph magnification is approximately 350x. Originally recorded on Fujichrome 64T transparency film using a Nikon Optiphot-Pol microscope with crossed polarized illumination, the image was digitized using a Nikon CoolScan transparency film scanner. Exposures were recorded about 3 f-steps under the recommended value given by an in-camera photomultiplier and were push-processed approximately 1.75 f-steps in the first E-6 developer.

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