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ERIC Number: EJ1031949
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
A Cost-Effective Optical Device for the Characterization of Liquid Crystals
Millier, Brian; Aleman Milán, Gianna
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n4 p 518-523 Apr 2014
The design and construction of an apparatus to measure the optical birefringence of a liquid crystal is described. The instrument also includes temperature control and monitoring circuitry to allow for the measurement of the nematic-to-isotropic phase transition temperature. An important feature of this design is that the students are able to build the optical bench section of the instrument from a kit of parts supplied. The electronics instrumentation for the illuminator, photometer, and temperature controller functions are all low-cost designs using common components, yet provide more than adequate accuracy for the measurements required. The entire instrument cost is $430, an estimated cost reduction of approximately $3000 compared to the design previously proposed by Waclawik et al. This instrumentation is suitable for second or third-year undergraduate students in materials science or physical chemistry courses.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A