Liquid crystals are self organising fluids that are perhaps best known for their use in displays (LCDs) and much of the research in the area over the past 30 years or so has been focused on achieving faster switching and more complex images in flat panel TVs. However, such technology is now mature and for some time now new, exciting properties of liquid crystals that might lead to rather futuristic applications have been emerging.
This talk describes some interesting and novel liquid crystal phases, including the so-called dark conglomerate phase, and touches on how chirality has a huge influence on liquid crystal structures and the resultant physical properties. Some of the exciting new (non-display) applications areas that might become important in the next 30 years are described including temperature sensors for perishable goods and switchable contact lenses.
Coffee and tea from 7.00pm.