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Soft Matter


We report results on the high-field magneto-optical response of four aqueous, lyotropic, chromonic liquid crystal formulations in the isotropic phase. Measurements of the field-induced birefringence at temperatures above the isotropic-nematic coexistence region at high magnetic fields reveal qualitative differences in different materials; these differences can be attributed to the nature of aggregation and are discussed within the context of competing aggregation models. Extending these measurements to very high fields and large optical phase differences reveals the presence of an unexpected optical phenomenon: magnetic field-induced circular birefringence, measured in the Voigt geometry, in a system containing no molecularly chiral species. Possible origins of this effect are discussed.


This work is freely available courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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