Over the last few months, a team of scientists at the University of Rennes, in France, have been using a Linkam LTSE420 to study and produce luminescent liquid crystals that can be used in various optoelectronic applications.
Optoelectronics refers to a field of technology which combines electricity and light. This field generally comprises of the study, design and manufacture of various devices that convert electrical signals into photonic signals. Any device that can convert electrical signals to optical data can therefore be classed as an optoelectronic device. These devices are a vital component in a large proportion of today's technology ranging from fibre optics cables and wireless communication to high-tech medical equiment.
Franck Camerel and his McCSE group (Matière condensée et systèmes électroactifs) have been working on the design and synthesis of the liquid crystals that can be used for many of the above applications. During this synthesis, one of the key factors that the scientists need to look out for is controlled cell growth. Any imperfections in this cell growth can lead to the crystals being deemed useless - and this is where the regulation of temperature is vital.
The group used a Linkam LTSE420 "Liquid Crystal Pro" hotstage to aide them in the creation of these cells. The internal electrical contact connectors wired to an external Lemo connector also allow them to align liquid crystalline phases with electrical fields at various temperatures inside the heating stage, thus enabeling them to precisely control the environment in which the crystals were made.
This was a feature which Mr Camerel found very useful, he said:"The Linkam hot stage has allowed the fine tuning of the temperature to develop textures for the optical and spectroscopic investigations of liquid crystalline phases directly inside the microscope."
With the optoelectronics playing a larger role in many aspects of current and future technology, the study of Liquid Crystals is of great importance. We hope that Frank, his team and many other scientists around the world can use our Linkam LTSE420 stage to perfect the growth of these crystals and make them more readily available than they already are.
By Ricky Patel