Liquid crystal molecules have both liquid and crystal properties. When a voltage is applied the molecules align in controllable ways – a property exploited in TV and mobile device flat screens. This property is also used in microwave communications to select specific frequencies, while filtering out unwanted ‘noise’. Under polarised light, colours reveal information on the molecular alignment and the thickness of the liquid crystal layer.

Imaged using polarised light microscopy by Pouria Yaghmaee, University of Adelaide.

Size: approximately 5 millimetre wide area shown.