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Verena Görtz visits GSCST and gives talk on liquid crystal elastomers

Dr. Verena Görtz from the Department of Chemistry, University of York, United Kingdom, visits the Soft Nano- and Microstructures and Liquid Crystal and Nanocomposites labs at the GSCST on 10.12.2012. She will give a lecture on liquid crystal elastomers, going from basic principles to current and future applications, adapted to a diverse audience (thus requiring no background in liquid crystals or polymers) at 5pm in room D-122. Welcome!

Wiktor Piecek and Zbigniev Raszewski will visit GSCST and give talk on antiferroelectric liquid crystals

Prof. Wiktor Piecek (picture) and Prof. Zbigniev Raszewski, from the Military University of Warsaw, Poland, will visit the GSCST and the groups of Prof. Lagerwall (Soft Nano- & Microstructures Lab) and Prof. Scalia (Liquid Crystals & Nanocomposites Lab) on Friday 8th of December. They will give an (informal) talk on orthoconic antiferroelectric liquid crystals during the day (please contact Prof. Lagerwall if you are interested in attending).

Nature Communications paper on liquid crystal elastomer shell micropumps

Together with the groups of Prof. Rudolf Zentel in Mainz, Germany (where the SNM lab “external student” Hsin-Ling Liang is conducting the second half of her Ph.D. work under joint guidance of Prof.s Zentel and Lagerwall) and Prof. Frank Giesselmann in Stuttgart, Germany, we have succeeded in producing shells of a nematic liquid crystalline elastomer using a slightly modified version of the standard microfluidic set-up for liquid crystal shell production. We demonstrated how these shells can be used for one-piece self-assembled micropumps, actuated by inducing the phase transition between nematic and isotropic states, with application potential e.g. in 3D microfluidics.

Our work was published in Nature Communications in a paper entitled “One-piece micropumps from liquid crystalline core-shell particles”, with 30 October 2012 as official release date. However, due to the impact of hurricane Sandy on the New York office of Nature Communications they have until today been unable to update their web site, hence the paper is still not accessible for download. As soon as operations are back to normal, you should be able to download the paper using the DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2193. Until then, you can request the paper directly from [email protected] or contact Jan here.

You can also read a 1-page popular science introduction to the paper here.

GSCST campus visit/convergence concert programs

Two information events for students interested in joining the GSCST are coming up:
  • 9th of October in the AICT Conference Room A101, Gwanggyo Campus
  • 11th of October, Mogam Hall 1st floor, Gwanak Campus.
  • GSCST_student_recruitment_poster

Jan gives invited talk at Fall Meeting of the Korean Polymer Society

Prof. Jan Lagerwall will give an invited talk at the fall meeting of the Korean Polymer Society, Changwon, Korea, October 11-12, 2012. You can read the abstract for his talk, entitled One-Piece Micropumps from Liquid Crystal Elastomer Core-Shell Particles by clicking here.

Jan gives invited talk at symposium on flexible LC devices

Prof. Jan Lagerwall is invited to give a talk at the symposium Flexible Liquid Crystal Devices, organized by and taking place at Kent State University, Kent (OH), USA. His talk is entitled Liquid crystal-functionalized electrospun microfibers for gas sensing textiles and other flexible devices.

Jan gives tutorial on liquid crystal microscopy at ILCC

Prof. Jan Lagerwall is invited to give a tutorial on polarizing microscopy at the International Liquid Crystal Conference in Mainz, Germany. The tutorial is recorded and you will be able to see it at your computer afterwards on this page. You can read the conference report in Materials Views (Wiley-VCH) here.

Jan gives invited talk at Royal Society conference

Prof. Jan Lagerwall is invited to give a talk at the conference New frontiers in anisotropic fluid-particle composites, organized by the Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, near London, UK. You can read the abstract for his talk, entitled Exploring and applying liquid crystals in new geometries prepared by microfluidics and electrospinning by clicking here.

Younan Xia visits the SNM lab and GSCST and gives a seminar

Younan Xia, Brock Family Chair and GRA Eminent Scholar in Nanomedicine in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, is visiting the SMN lab and the Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology on Wednesday 13th of June 2012. He will give a seminar entitled “How to Achieve Sustainable Use of a Scarce Metal Like Platinumat 5:00p.m. in room A-102. You can download Prof. Xia’s abstract and bio sketch here.

Our paper on hybrid-aligned liquid crystal shells featured on Soft Matter cover

Our new paper on the nematic-smectic transition in hybrid-aligned liquid crystalline shells, homeotropic on the inside and planar on the outside or vice versa, is featured on the cover of issue 20, volume 8 (2012) of Soft Matter.

Towards tunable defect arrangements in smectic liquid crystal shells utilizing the nematic-smectic transition in hybrid-aligned geometries
Hsin-Ling Liang, Rudolf Zentel, Per Rudquist and Jan Lagerwall
Soft Matter, 8, 20, pp. 5443 - 5450 (2012)

Karin Cedergren, Chalmers, visits the GSCST

Dr. Karin Cedergren (center on photo) from Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, is visiting the GSCST during May and June 2012, within the framework of the KSCNR bilateral Swedish-Korean research project on carbon nanomaterials (PI: Prof. Yung Woo Park, Department of Physics and Astronomy, SNU, head of the Nano Transport Lab). Karin will be working with Prof. Giusy Scalia (left on the photo; head of the Liquid Crystals and Nanocomposites Lab) and Prof. Lagerwall during her stay, as well as with the Nano Transport Laboratory of Prof. Park at Gwanak campus.

New review article on modern liquid crystal research

A new review article by Prof. Giusy Scalia and Prof. Lagerwall entitled A new era for liquid crystal research: Applications of liquid crystals in soft matter nano-, bio- and microtechnology and published in Current Applied Physics is now available on-line. The paper focuses on the exciting development that liquid crystal research is currently undergoing, with branches into numerous directions of soft matter and nanotechnology research, and it presents a selection of some of these stimulating research themes. Elsevier has made the article free for anyone to download, even without subscription to the journal. The abstract of the article is as follows:
Liquid crystals constitute a fascinating class of soft condensed matter characterized by the counter-intuitive combination of fluidity and long-range order. Today they are best known for their exceptionally successful application in flat panel displays, but they actually exhibit a plethora of unique and attractive properties that offer tremendous potential for fundamental science as well as innovative applications well beyond the realm of displays. Today this full breadth of the liquid crystalline state of matter is becoming increasingly recognized and numerous new and exciting lines of research are being opened up. We review this exciting development, focusing primarily on the physics aspects of the new research thrusts, in which liquid crystals - thermotropic as well as lyotropic - often meet other types of soft matter, such as polymers and colloidal nano- or microparticle dispersions. Because the field is of large interest also for researchers without a liquid crystal background we begin with a concise introduction to the liquid crystalline state of matter and the key concepts of the research field. We then discuss a selection of promising new directions, starting with liquid crystals for organic electronics, followed by nanotemplating and nanoparticle organization using liquid crystals, liquid crystal colloids (where the liquid crystal can constitute either the continuous phase or the disperse phase, as droplets or shells) and their potential in e.g. photonics and metamaterials, liquid crystal-functionalized polymer fibers, liquid crystal elastomer actuators, ending with a brief overview of activities focusing on liquid crystals in biology, food science and pharmacology.

Two guest scientists from Sweden at the GSCST

Ms. Christina Schütz and Ms. Michaela Salajkova, Ph.D. students in Sweden at Stockholm University and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), respectively, are visiting the GSCST during April and May 2012, within the framework of our bilateral project on nanocrystalline cellulose, involving the Swedish groups of Prof. Lennart Bergström (Stockholm University) and Prof. Lars Berglund (KTH) and the SNU-GSCST groups of Prof. Giusy Scalia, Prof. Yuanzhe Piao and Prof. Lagerwall.

Communication on CNT dispersion in Angewandte Chemie

Our Communication in Angewandte Chemie on dispersion of carbon nanotubes below the surfactant Krafft temperature, a joint work between the SNM lab and the LC Nano lab of Prof. Giusy Scalia, is now published. The method is a simple but powerful variation of the standard way of dispersing nanoparticles in aqueous surfactant solutions, taking advantage of the Krafft phenomenon to obtain suspensions containing just the amount of surfactant needed for stabilization, but no micelles. This leads to better stability of the dispersion and the minimal excess surfactant is a huge advantage when the nanoparticles are to be used in a device or in a composite. The method is generic and thus applicable to any type of nanoparticle that can be dispersed using any surfactant with Krafft temperature in a convenient temperature range, including many commonly used commercial surfactants.

Utilizing the Krafft phenomenon for achieving ideal micelle-free surfactant-stabilized nanoparticle suspensions
Sarah Dölle, Bob-Dan Lechner, Ji Hyun Park, Stefan Schymura, Jan Lagerwall and Giusy Scalia
Angew. Chemie Int. Ed., 51, pp. 3254 - 3257 (2012)

New Soft Matter paper on hybrid-aligned liquid crystal shells

Our new paper in Soft Matter on the nematic-smectic transition in hybrid-aligned liquid crystalline shells, homeotropic on the inside and planar on the outside or vice versa, is now available on-line. When the article appears in print it will be featured on the journal cover.

Towards tunable defect arrangements in smectic liquid crystal shells utilizing the nematic-smectic transition in hybrid-aligned geometries
Hsin-Ling Liang, Rudolf Zentel, Per Rudquist and Jan Lagerwall
Soft Matter, 8, (2012), DOI: 10.1039/C2SM07415J

Four new students join the group

With the 2012 spring semester starting on the first of March, three new M.Sc. students and one new Ph.D. student join the SNM lab: