The optically anisotropic material is called "mesophase" and has a nematic liquid crystal-like structure. These observations have led to a tremendous amount of scientific and technical activity within the carbon community to determine methods of controlling mesophase formation and the resultant molecular orientation. The orientation of the discotic layers and the presence of disclinations influence the structure and properties of the final carbon fibers. The folded sheets in the radial texture are associated with disclinations; hence, the density of disclinations should be an important parameter in determining the final fiber properties. After the Mesophase Pitch (MP) is formed into fibers, it must then be stabilized to prevent the fibers from melting or fusing together during the high temperature heat treatment required to form carbon fibers of high strength and modulus. There are two major costs involved in the manufacture of MP-based carbon fibers: pitch preparation and stabilization.