Molecular imaging of tobacco mosaic virus lyotropic nematic phases

Joseph A N Zasadzinski, Robert B. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Aqueous solutions of tobacco mosaic virus are ideal systems for visualizing distributions in the nematic phase by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. The order parameter in well aligned regions is measured to be greater than 0.9. Twist deformations appear to be most common, confirming that the twist elastic constant is smaller than either the splay or bend constants. Edge and screw disclinations are observed in tobacco mosaic virus nematics in configurations predicted by continuum theory. Disclination cores have been observed for the first time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-638
Number of pages3
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986


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