Chair in Chemistry
Liquid CrystalsLiquid crystals are a fascinating state of matter having certain properties characteristic of liquids with others typical of crystals. This duality of properties has important implications for the applications of liquid crystals which range from the familiar electro-optic displays to new types of fabrics whose colour changes depending on the mood of the wearer. Current research focuses on polymeric liquid crystals and, in particular, side chain liquid crystal polymers (SCLCP). The considerable application potential of SCLCPs in advanced electro-optic technologies, including information storage and non-linear optics, stems from the combination of macromolecular properties (mechanical integrity and ease of processibility) with the electro-optic characteristics of low molar mass mesogens. To realise such potential, however, materials having well-defined properties are required. Our research therefore involves: (a) the design and synthesis of novel polymers, (b) their thermal characterisation, and (c) micro- and macrostructural investigations. Other interests include polymer- dispersed liquid crystal displays and the synthesis of model compounds for liquid crystal polymers.
The scope of our studies will be greatly extended by the award of over £750k from SHEFC (Scottish Higher Education Funding Council) to set up SOMC (Scottish Offshore Materials Centre) which is a consortium of chemists, engineers and geologists at Aberdeen to examine the behaviour of real-size components under down-hole conditions (upto 2 kbar and 250° C). Our particular interest here is the Thermal Analysis Service.The availability of "almost unique" high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) facilities will enable us to carry out in situ investigations of a wide range of materials.
- Further Info
- EPSRC Grant report GR/J32701: Supramolecular Side-Chain Liquid Crystal Polymers (PDF)