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We present birefringence and fluorescence confocal microscopy studies of melamine particles in a liquid-crystalline host solvent. The liquid crystal has a cholesteric phase at room temperature with a helical pitch that can be modified by changing the composition. The pitch employed here is always less than the particle diameter (3 mu m). We demonstrate via birefringence that the mesogens preferentially anchor flat at the melamine surface. Via studies in a sample cell with aligning surfaces we show that although the particles form chains in a nematic liquid crystal they organize in 2D plates in a cholesteric. Fluorescence confocal microscopy and particle location analysis are used to determine the radial distribution function and to evaluate the particle aggregation number as a function of pitch length. We discuss possible explanations for the self-organization.
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