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We observed an interesting pattern of twinned domains that occurs in the phase sequence of a particular n-alkane, tricosane (C23H48). Phase transitions between this twinned regime and one of its neighboring phases preserve atomic-scale features such as growth steps, indicating that the regime is entered via a diffusionless (martensitic-like) transition.

This is an Atomic force microscope (AFM) image of the twinning pattern observed for C23H48 in the Rotator RV phase at 42 C. (left) AFM height image and (right) deflection image (arbitrary gray scale). The uniform contrast of individual portions of each stripe indicates smooth sides of constant slope. The ridges have a triangular profile with typical heights ~50 nm and sides with an inclination of 8.