Market leaders in temperature controlled microscopy, Linkam
Scientific Instruments, have been used as temperature stage suppliers to
Queen's University in Canada for ten years to study the properties of ferroelectric
The research program of Professor Robert Lemieux and his Kingston, Ontario-
based team focuses on the rational design of chiral and achiral molecular components
of ferroelectric liquid crystal mixtures based on principles of self-assembly
and molecular recognition.
Understanding the thermal properties of liquid crystals is crucial to the establishment
of structure-property relationships that are useful in the design of new materials
with improved properties. For example, in the design of 'de Vries-like' liquid
crystals, the focus is on changes occurring at the SmA-SmC phase transition,
both in terms of the order of the phase transition as well as changes in physical
properties such as birefringence. As such, the use of thermal polarized optical
microscopy allows the observation of texture changes at the SmA-SmC phase transition
that provides useful information on such changes, and the Linkam LTS-350 hot
stage used provides precise temperature control for this purpose.
The design of the LTS-350 hot stage also makes possible the integration of
thermal polarized optical microscopy with the automated Liquid Crystal Analysis
System (LCAS-1) by LC Vision in a convenient, turn-key fashion. This is used
to measure the spontaneous polarization and optical tilt angle of ferroelectric
SmC* liquid crystals induced by a variety of chiral dopants. These measurements
are normally performed as a function of temperature using the LTS-350 hot stage.
The Linkam Liquid Crystal Pro system is in use by scientists all over the world.
Leading academic and industrial research scientists have made the LTSE350 their
preferred choice because of the high degree of control of heating rates, accuracy
and long term stability for temperature controlled studies using light microscopes
and other spectrometer platforms. It is optimised for liquid crystal sample
analysis having fast heating rates up to 30°C/min and excellent thermal
stability over the range from -196°C to 350°C. The stage consists of
a large area temperature controlled element with a 100 Ohm platinum resistor
sensor embedded close to the surface for accurate temperature measurements.
It may be operated with Linksys32 DV Imaging software and a QICAM digital camera
to provide fully indexed images at predefined points in the temperature profile.
For a completely integrated solution, the system can be used with the Linkam
Imaging Station to provide an ergonomic platform for easy sample handling without
the need for a stand-alone optical microscope.
Linkam develops and manufactures a broad range of heating and freezing stages
for both OEM and end users to visualize and explore materials properties. Used
in conjunction with light microscopes and other forms of spectroscopy, Linkam
stages are found in thousands of laboratories worldwide with the most dynamic
and successful microscope heating stage, the THMS600, selling over 3,000 units
alone. Linkam is the market leader in temperature controlled microscopy.