Phase separation of a nematic liquid crystal in the self-assembly of lysozyme in a drying aqueous solution drop


This paper discusses the unique patterns evolved through phase separation of a bulk liquid crystal (LC) from the self-assembly of lysozyme induced by evaporation of de-ionized water only. Each domain shows a central dark region surrounded by bright regions (randomly oriented LC droplets). The birefringence intensity reveals three regimes (a slow increase, rapid rise, then saturation) not seen without LC droplets. The textural study exhibits a simple exponential behavior that changes as a function of LC concentration. Furthermore, in the presence of LC, the crack patterns are found to be different near the drop edge than those in the central region.

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Correspondence to Germano S. Iannacchione.

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A video of the time evolution of the drying process is available in Supplementary section.

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Pal, A., Gope, A., Kafle, R. et al. Phase separation of a nematic liquid crystal in the self-assembly of lysozyme in a drying aqueous solution drop. MRS Communications 9, 150–158 (2019).

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