Open Book
Keyboard
MacBook
Crocus
Blueberries
Light Bulb
Reed
Stacks Image 7738
Click here for general mailing & primary contact information for our whole group

Some Important Announcements

Our Current ESMP Team

Want to contact any of our group members specifically?
Click on the or the for redirection to messaging, or calling information. Use the social media links, if available, to also get in touch.

Hakam Agha

Postdoctoral Researcher
+352 46 66 44 6472
Hakam earned his Bachelor’s degree from the Lebanese University in Beirut, and his Masters degree from Henri Poincaré university in Nancy France (currently known as University of Lorraine). He later earned his PhD in material science from the university of Strasbourg in France under the guidance of Prof. Yves Galerne in 2013. More Info
Afterwards, he joined the group of Dr. Christian Bahr as a postdoctoral researcher in Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-organization in Göttingen, Germany, where he studied liquid crystals flow in PDMS based microfluidics. Currently Hakam is working in our group on a project funded by the Office of Naval Research Global (ONRG) where he is investigating the optical behaviour of cholesteric liquid crystal droplets for object detection.
CURRENT PROJECT
LAB’RINTH; Liquid crystal-bead reflectors illuminating the needle in the haystack.

Deniz Avsar

PhD Candidate
Deniz earned her master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Middle East Technical University (METU) in Turkey. During her master’s study, she worked on the synthesis and characterization of sensor microparticles templated from cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) to develop artificial photonic materials for the detection of volatile organic compounds. She joined the ESMP in September 2021 as a PhD candidate to work on TRANSCEND project.
CURRENT PROJECT
TRANSCEND Project: Transforming autonomous navigation, swarm robotics and construction by encoding data into surfaces.

Adamantia Galani

Administrative staff
Adamantia help our group in many ways: Administration, balance our budgets and purchase all of our equipment.

Yong Geng

Postdoctoral Researcher
Yong received his Bachelor and Master degrees in Physics from China, and then his PhD in 2013 in materials science from New University of Lisbon, Portugal, in the group of Prof. Maria Helena Godinho, where he did a short post-doc as well. After that he did a one-year post-doc in Prof. Ralf Stannarius’s group in Magdeburg University and worked with Alexey Eremi, during which he had a chance to spend two months in Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Hungary and collaborated with Dr. Tamás Börzsönyl and Dr. Péter Salamon, funded by COST ic1208. More info
CURRENT PROJECT
Selective reflections from cholesteric liquid crystal shells.
From July 2015 to September 2017, he worked as post-doc in our group, mainly focusing on the studying of selective reflections from cholesteric liquid crystal shells. Now he is back and will continue the work he previously worked on. His research interest covers ordering- disordering process of polymers and liquid crystals, phase transitions; Optical properties of cholesteric liquid crystals; microfluidics; liquid crystalline networks; self-assembly of functional polymers, liquid crystals and particles.

+352 46 66 44 4994

Rijeesh Kizhakidathazhath

Postdoctoral Researcher
+352 46 66 44 64 80
Rijeesh earned his Ph.D. in Life Science from Hokkaido University, Japan under the guidance of Prof. Nobuyuki Tamaoki with the thesis entitled “Dynamic induction of enantiomeric excess from a prochiral azobenzene dimer under circularly polarized light”. He was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the group of Prof. Hirotsugu Kikuchi at Kyushu University, Japan and his research focused on the development of high-performance liquid crystal / polymer composites using unique molecular designs. He joined the ESMP group in June 2018 and is currently working on the production of polymerizable cholesteric liquid crystal shells for making authentication or reflector tags. He is also focusing on the preparation of cholesteric liquid crystal elastomers for the applications in LC-based wearable technology.
CURRENT PROJECT
The production of polymerizable cholesteric liquid crystal shells for making authentication or reflector tags.

Jan Lagerwall

PI & Group Leader
Jan leads the Experimental Soft Matter Physics (ESMP) group. Check out his personal website below for details.
CURRENT PROJECT
Teaching, advising, helping us (his group) publish papers & be better researchers
+352 46 66 44 6219

Xu MA

PhD Candidate
Xu earned her master degree on science in physics at university of Luxembourg. Now she will continue in our group for her PhD study. She worked on “Spontaneous adsorption and self-organization of colloid particles at fluid interfaces” before. Currently, she is working on using electrospray and controlled phase separation guided by confinement in droplets to make Cholesteric Spherical Reflectors (CSRs).
CURRENT PROJECT
ECLIPSE Project: Using electrospray and controlled phase separation to make Cholesteric Spherical Reflectors (CSRs)

Najiya

PhD Candidate
Najiya earned her Masters from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali in India. Before joining ESMP group, she worked on liquid crystal (LC) bio sensing, Synthesis and characterisation of LCs. Currently, she does her PhD with us on "Physics meet Biology" scheme, specifically on research in liquid crystal elastomers for artificial vasculature for sustaining organoid growth.
CURRENT PROJECT
LC elastomers.

Nikolay Popov

PhD Candidate
Nikolay earned his Masters in chemistry at Ivanovo State University, Russia. During his Masters he worked at the Nanomaterials Research Institute on the development of liquid crystal (LC) thin films bio-sensing technics. At ESMP Nikolay studied the bottom-up LC elastomer synthesis of shells and tubes using microfluidics. LC elastomer actuators tubes might be potentially useful in future as an artificial vasculature which improves vitality of organoids in-vitro. He also contributed to the MiShell Zero Gravity experiments project. Starting from July 2021 Nikolay will continue his research at ESMP as a doctoral candidate with a new research project which is mainly devoted to improving LC shells stability and their use in bio-sensing applications.
CURRENT PROJECT
Liquid crystal shells as reporters of biomolecular adsorption events

Zornitza ('Zory') Tosheva

Research Associate
+352 46 66 44 6332
Zory is involved in several projects of the ESMP group, her current main focus being on cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) self-assembly.
CURRENT PROJECT
CNC self assembly & film production

Yansong ZHANG

Postdoctoral Researcher
With a broad background in various disciplines (polymer chemistry, chemical engineering and photonics), Yansong is a materials researcher specialised in light-responded elastomers and self-organizing polymer networks. He received his Master and PhD degree in chemical engineering from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. After that he did three-years post-doc in Prof. Chia-Rong Lee’s group in the department of photonics at same university to develop smart actuators, liquid crystal laser and planar optics. He attempts to synthesis anisotropic polymers with new functionalities and integrate them into optical devices to meet industrial and societal challenges. In January 2022 he became a member of ESMP and is working on to electrospinning fibers and Cholesteric Spherical Reflectors to make innovative pathogen sampling filters and reporters of biomolecular binding events.
CURRENT PROJECT
Bio-sensing the frugal way with liquid crystal spheres