Apparatus suitable for the study of liquid crystals at pressures up to 400 MPa and temperatures from ambient to 200 degrees C is described. The apparatus is based on a polarizing microscope and allows the direct observation of liquid crystal textures and the measurement of the selective reflection spectra of chiral liquid crystals. The pressurizing medium is argon and in certain cases it is possible to observe free standing films of liquid crystals at high pressures. The instrument has been tested using the liquid crystal material 5CB and these results are presented.
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