Welcome back to Axel (left) and Yosuke (right)
After one year, Axel and Yosuke rejoin our group for their master project.
They both will engaged in the REVEAL project. Axel will focus on developing methods to create CLCE films that are suitable for a wide range of practical applications. Yosuke will focus on the development of liquid crystal polymer fibres, designed to exhibit mechanochromic response, employing a microfluidics wet spinning technique.
Valentin and Claudia join our group for their bachelor project.
Valentin will work on Computer simulation of evaporative flows during cholesteric liquid crystal elastomer preparation.
Claudia will work together with Deniz on finding the refractive indices of nematic liquid crystal mixture.
Welcome to Yansong
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.
Welcome to Katrin (left) and Nikolay (right) come back for their further study. Katrin will working on the potential of electrospun, liquid crystal-filled polymer fibres for the quantitative detection of volatile organic compounds. Nikolay will working on liquid crystal shells as reporters of bimolecular adsorption events.
Welcome our new PhD candidate Najiya to the ESMP. Najiya will be working on "Physics meet Biology " scheme, specifically on research in liquid crystal elastomers for artificial vasculature for sustaining organoid growth.
Anjali works on forming liquid crystal shells and she works on trying to stabilize them using different surfactants and polymers.
Anjali and the team (Jampani, Nikolay and Jan from our group) + others from Prof. Ralf Stannarius's group in Magdeburg, Germany, observed LC shell behavior in a micro gravity environment made possible through several parabolic flights initiated in a plane provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Read about & see her experience here on the FNR's site: Spotlight on Young Researchers: Anjali Sharma
Anjali’s PhD is funded by the FNR’s PRIDE programme in the framework of the Doctoral Training Unit (DTU) MASSENA, which has the goal to improve the understanding and the performance of materials used in sensing and energy harvesting
"Isotropic-Isotropic phase separation and spinodal decomposition in liquid crystal-solvent mixtures" experimentally & theoretically reveals evidence of coexisting isotropic phases in simple mixtures of ethanol, 5CB, and water. Even though the nematic LC 5CB is arguably the most studied commercial liquid crystal worldwide, for the first time this study highlights experimental evidence of spinodal decomposition and nucleation and growth occuring between two isotropic phases and a single nematic phase between this common compound and equally common solvents.
(Click the image below to visit the article:
All supplementary info is open access!)
Click here for the link.
Congratulations to Anjali & Jan on the new publication in Liquid Crystals: "Influence of head group and chain length of surfactants used for stabilising liquid crystal shells"
This is the systematic study of the effect of different surfactants on Nematic LC shell, in terms of stability and alignment.
Welcome to our new post-doc Rijeesh (left) and phd Nikolay (right) who have joined our team. Rijeesh will be working on making cholesteric LC shells for reflector tags. While Nikolay will aim to generate tube-shaped liquid crystal elastomer actuators for biomedical applications.
Congratulations to Rao & Jan on the new publication in Advanced Functional Materials: “Micrometer‐Scale Porous Buckling Shell Actuators Based on Liquid Crystal Networks”!
After collaborating with Dirk Jan last fall on LCE shells (pic below!) , the study describing the actuation in the porous network + a curious discovery of negative birefringence is finally out & open access.
Our group is officially hosting the 1st ever TEDx event at the University of Luxembourg! The date for the event was just announced to occur on
Oct. 26, 2018! While we cannot actually give talks ourselves on our projects and perspectives, there's still plenty of opportunities for others to get involved in suggesting speaker ideas, or in applying to speak themselves.
Click here to see the official announcement from the university's team & to get more info!
She will work alongside Anshul in attempting to advance the chemistry regarding our groups' ideas on LCE synthesis
Congratulations to Matt & Jan on the new publication in Advanced Materials: “Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Shells as Enabling Material for Information‐Rich Design and Architecture”!
Matt is a long time collaborator of Jan's since his time as a professor at SNU in South Korea. Some of us in the group got the chance to meet him, but eventually we'll all see each other again in a few days when Matt stops by our lab. Originally an architect by training, Matt worked on (and is probably still working on) many interdisciplinary projects involving robotics, and functional architecture design. He is currently a professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
In this new article Matt, Jan and a few other collaborators at the SNT (Security, Reliability and Trust) Centre in Luxembourg discuss the possibilities of using cholesteric LC shells as sources for information technology in various architecture, drone, and robotics concepts and applications.
He is still checking out our labs and deciding what research project he will contribute to (might be leaning more towards working with Manos & Benjamin on CNC droplets however).
Many thanks to all of our collaborators & the participants for a great three days of discussions, talks & prizes.
Be sure to check the website : http://www.lcsoftmatter.com/glcc18lux/ for photos of the conference soon!
Congratulations to Camila, Christina & Jan on the publication in Nature Asia Materials: "Fractionation of cellulose nanocrystals: enhancing liquid crystal ordering without promoting gelation" !
In a successful collaboration with Prof. Roland Sanctuary's group here at the physics & materials science research unit, this latest research on CNCs (cellulose nano crystals) describes in detail how controlling the fractionation of CNCs according to length can help in preventing the onset of gelation in solutions. The experimental results are discussed against what is already known regarding the aggregation of colloids based on the presence of counterions, and what still needs to be established in the field.
According to the authors: "Our results shine new light on the competition between liquid crystal formation and gelation in nanoparticle suspensions and provide a path for enhanced control of CNC self-organization for applications in photonic crystal paper or advanced composites."
It was a long time coming - she traveled from South Korea to start her research again Luxembourg as Jan's 1st student in the lab (for the 2nd time actually)
On Friday, March 23rd, 2018 JungHyun Noh successfully defended her doctoral thesis with a presentation on "Tuning liquid crystal self-assembly: from interfacial- to polymer-stabilization"
All of your colleagues wish you a big Congratulations Dr. Noh, & best of luck for your future endeavors & career
She will be learning microfluidic LC shell production and be working with Rao for the next few months
The conference abstract booklets are all printed & ready to be distributed next week! Be sure to check the site: http://www.lcsoftmatter.com/glcc18lux/ for updates, confirm meal selections, & know poster #s in advance. See you there!
Congratulations to Anshul & Jan on the publication in Materials: “Electrospun Composite Liquid Crystal Elastomer Fibers”!
This is the first study to date that shows and analyzes the irreversible actuation of photo-crosslinkable reactive mesogens single axially electrospun with a carrier polymer, to create liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) fibers. Don't forget to check out the supplementary info for more details!
Congratulations to JungHyun & Rao on the publication in the Journal of Molecular Liquids titled: “Sub-second dynamic phototuning of alignment in azodendrimer-doped nematic liquid crystal shells”!
For the 1st time(!!), a study documents the photoswitching of azodendrimer in liquid crystal shells produced by microfluidics. Ultimately, our group members & colleagues find that phase separation may occur in shells when the dendrimer is in the trans ground state, and that photo switching turns such shells uniform - further indicating that the cis state is better soluble in the LC.
Hooray for the good start to the 2018 year
(Fyi - Also, I think this paper is the 1st to show results obtained from our new confocal microscope as well…so HD, so cool)
Congratulations to Larry & Rao on the publication in Langmuir titled: “Microfluidic Tensiometry Technique for the Characterization of the Interfacial Tension between Immiscible Liquids”!
This is Larry's 1st paper in our group (!) and also Rao's 1st time serving as last author on a paper (!)
In this study, Larry and Rao borrow inspiration from the biologists and use the novel technique of micropipette aspiration (commonly used to measure the viscoelastic properties of living cells) to measure the interfacial tension of 5CB, water, and surfactants with a high degree of accuracy (from the sub-millinewton per meter to several hundred millinewton per meter range) solely from experimental observations of the droplet deformation. This is highly unique as information on the liquid density is not needed to find the interfacial tension.
Our review on LCs in Droplets, Shells & Fibers got selected for the 2017 highlights list by IOP Publishing!! Yes mega Congrats to our team!!
Thanks to everyone who also read &/or downloaded our article.
We put a lot of effort into trying to make a review as comprehensive, and as accurate, for those outside and in our fields as possible.
If you want to check the highlights click here (Category is: Soft matter, biophysics and liquids) - http://iopscience.iop.org/journal/0953-8984/page/Highlights-2017
Apologies for some errors while thew new site is getting updated.
Look out for new fixes in the new year.
See you in 2018!
You can contact Christina via e-mail here.
( <— 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"
We will be in the "Tente parvis", at workshop 38: "Lumière fantastique!".
Also this summer we have the pleasure to host three students from the USA, within the framework of an NSF-funded IRES program devoted to liquid crystal fibers and filaments, headed by Prof. Tony Jakli at Kent State University (co-PIs are Prof. Margaret Frey, Cornell, and Prof. John West, Kent State University). This year our visitors are Emily Kerr, Aditi Naik and Vanessa Sanchez. Here you see them enjoying Luxembourgish Flammkuchen together with Jan and Catherine (who is the local group member working the most with them during their stay).
We finally have something that succinctly shows what our very multidisciplinary group does in the labs, & studies, on a regular basis.
What do you think?
& thanks to our very own Larry H. for the great design!
Variations of the logo will be available for download by group members on the Internal Site soon.
This will be a two-day conference on the physics, chemistry, applications & any other aspects of liquid crystals, held at the University of Luxembourg from March 21-23, 2018.
This is exciting for our group because it's going to be the 3rd time we host an international conference & it will be the largest one we've done yet. We are currently in close collaborations with groups in Belgium, the Netherlands, & France (note: this is not in competition with the the current French LC & soft matter society meetings).
Please check out the website for registration below!
Also, our Facebook Page for frequent updates for this year's meeting @ https://www.facebook.com/GLCC2018/
(FYI - Early bird deadline for registration and payment is 16th of February 2018!)
Hope to see you for fun talks on LCs in good ole Lux. this coming March!
We live in polarizing times when it's become easier than ever to ostracize people just because they may think a bit differently, or look a bit differently, from us, but actually these individual traits can help our communities work and think better.
Have a look at our statement under the Team menu under On Diversity & Inclusion.
We're happy to welcome our new post-doc: Manos Anyfantakis! He officially joined the ESMP team at the start of July, and will mainly be working on advancing projects related to hydrodynamic flows, kinetic arrest, LC structure formation in the CNC work we have happening. He received his masters applied molecular spectroscopy in 2007, earned a phd in chemistry in Greece in 2010, and has since travelled to Germany and France for postdocs on the wetting of surfactant solutions and optofluidics phenomena before finally joining us in Luxembourg. You can contact Manos via e-mail here.
Welcome to both Anjali (left) and Shameek (right) who have joined our team as phd students starting in July.
Anjali will be working on making LC shells for advancing bio-related projects, while Shameek will be working on finding new polymers for advancing applications related to electrospun LC-fibers.
We have the pleasure to be hosting Ross Volpe, Ph.D. candidate, from Prof. Christopher Yakacki's group at the University of Denver, Colorado, USA, until August (the longest we've had a guest over yet!).
During his stay, he will mostly work with Rao on further advancing the actuation of micro shells & also start the development on actuating cylinders. We hope that these months will result in a great collaboration!
On May 10-12, 2017, our ESMP group and the Theory of Soft Condensed Matter Group (headed by Prof. Tanja Schilling) organized and held the Twisted Conference, bringing together many of the leaders, and newcomers, in the CNC and lyotropic liquid crystal fields. There were plenty of useful and interesting discussions on the physics, applications, and chemistry of cholesteric LC phases developing in colloidal suspensions of chiral nanorods. We thank all of the participants for actively engaging in our 2nd (ever!) conference we hosted. Another success
Pictures for participants may be found our sister site: http://www.lcsoftmatter.com/twisted/, using the password provided by Jan.