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New webmaster for!

Just sending out a virtual "hi!" as the ESMP group's new webmaster for

( <— That's me, Catherine!) Since I enjoy layout designing, I thought I'd give re-vamping our group website a shot. I think it can be very cool for showcasing our groups' unique research, our scientific interests, and our successes together (invited talks, new papers published..etc), more so than it already does. On the technical side, I expect to integrate some more dynamic, and responsive layout functions (to make viewing the site on tablet & mobile on the go a little easier, for example). And, I'll also try to get some more contributions from folks in the group, just so we can hear from them once in a while too.

And don't worry, Jan isn't totally going to disappear from this site! (he is our PI after all) He's just getting his own personal site with all of his lectures up and running now too. Once it's ready I'll announce it on here. If you need to contact him though, you can still send him a message through the Contact page, or through his regular University of Luxembourg email address.

Finally, I just wanted to say that I think 2017 is going to be another great year for our group, full of new ideas & exciting research. It's my hope that the site can actually keep up with all the progress we make too.


*Toodles - A shortened anglicized version of the French phrase:
à tout à l'heure, which generally means "see you later"

New video on the UNIQUE project

Here is a popular information video about the UNIQUE project, an interdisciplinary collaboration between the ESMP group and the group of Dr. Gabriele Lenzini at SnT. The project aims at developing a new type of security token based on liquid crystal shells, which can be used to authenticate persons or valuable objects. Check it out on the YouTube channel of the University of Luxembourg!

Meeting in Seoul with Younghui Kim and Mathew Schwartz

In connection to Jan's trip to Korea for YooMee's defense, he took the opportunity to visit wearable technology artist Younghui Kim (Hongik University) and robotics artist/designer Mathew Schwartz (Advanced Institute of Convergence Technologies) to discuss their collaboration within the framework of Jan's ERC project INTERACT. Here the three are gathered in Younghui's fantastic studio in Seoul, surrounded by her artwork.

Jan is awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant

On the 12th of March 2015 the European Research Council (ERC) publicized the list of this year's Consolidator Grant winners, making it official that Jan's proposal INTERACT was selected for support. The support means that for the next five years the Experimental Soft Matter Physics group will be working very actively on wearable technology, soft robotics and innovative techniques for secure authentication. As the project gets going (current projected starting date is 1st of April 2015) there will be many updates.

Kick-off for new project MISONANCE

Today is the start of the project MISONANCE, a joint research thrust with the Theory of Soft Condensed Matter Physics group, lead by Tanja Schilling, funded within the CORE scheme of the Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg (FNR). The project deals with the balance between liquid crystalline self-assembly and glass formation in suspensions of cellulose nanocrystals, and the preparation of photonic crystal films based on this new bionanomaterial. The project is Jan's first large-scale project on cellulose and it will continue the excellent collaboration with the group of Prof. Lennart Bergström at Stockholm University (non-contracting partner). The theme of MISONANCE is largely the issues discussed in our review article published in NPG Asia Materials last year (the picture is from this open-access paper, which you can download free of charge and without subscription here).