Batonnet Formation in Magnetically Aligned
DNA Liquid Crystals

Batonnet Formation in Magnetically Aligned DNA Liquid Crystals

The formation of batonnets appears somewhat ordered in this photomicrograph of the transition region between cholesteric and high density liquid crystalline DNA. Orientation of the transition region with a 5 Tesla magnetic field increases the helical pitch of the unwinding cholesteric mesophase, which is spontaneously forming batonnets during the phase transition as is evident in the image presented above. It appears as if the batonnets are interconnected with the characteristic oily streak texture of the cholesteric phase. As the batonnets continue to grow, the cholesteric phase vanishes and the batonnets form a confluent layer of focal conic liquid crystalline textures. The photomicrograph magnification is approximately 600x, and was recorded on Fujichrome 64T transparency film using a Nikon Optiphot-Pol microscope with crossed polarized illumination. Exposures were recorded about 2.5 f-steps under the recommended value given by an in-camera photomultiplier and were push-processed approximately 1.5 f-steps in the first E-6 developer.

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