A New Probe: AFM Measurements for Random Disorder Systems

Salci R., Acar D. A. , Oztirpan o., Ramazanoglu M.

CHINESE PHYSICS LETTERS, vol.36, no.1, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/0256-307x/36/1/010501
  • Title of Journal : CHINESE PHYSICS LETTERS


We study the quenched random disorder (QRD) effects created by aerosil dispersion in the octylcyanobiphenyl (8CB) liquid crystal (LC) using atomic force microscopy technique. Gelation process in the 8CB+aerosil gels yields a QRD network which also changes the surface topography. By increasing the aerosil concentration, the original smooth pattern of LC sample surfaces is suppressed by the emergence of a fractal aerosil surface effect and these surfaces become more porous, rougher and they have more and larger crevices. The dispersed aerosil also serves as pinning centers for the liquid crystal molecules. It is observed that via the diffusion-limited-aggregation process, aerosil nano-particles yield a fractal-like surface pattern for the less disordered samples. As the aerosil dispersion increases, the surface can be described by more aggregated regions, which also introduces more roughness. Using this fact, we show that there is a net correlation between the short-range ordered x-ray peak widths (the results of previous x-ray diffraction experiments) and the calculated surface roughness. In other words, we show that these QRD gels can also be characterized by their surface roughness values.