Shaping the future with liquid crystals

International conference

© AG Giese

Liquid crystals are omnipresent. They can be found in smartphones, tablets and flat screens. Experts from science and industry will discuss their future development at the 50th German Liquid Crystal Conference (GLCC). The University of Duisburg-Essen is hosting the event on the Essen campus from 13 to 15 March. Some 80 participants are expected to attend.

Liquid crystals are chemical substances, some of which are liquid and whose physical properties are reminiscent of crystals. This makes them very versatile. In addition to the best-known area of application, display technology, liquid crystals can also be found in photonic data storage and sensors (e.g. as adhesive temperature sensors on aquariums).

For three days, experts will be exchanging expertise at the GLCC at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE). The participants come from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Pakistan and China. The 22 lectures cover the entire field of liquid crystal research: the theory of liquid crystals, robotics (topic: soft robotics) and applications in photonic sensors or ubiquitous liquid crystal displays. 16 will be held by young scientists. The event is being organised by UDE Professor Michael Giese and his working group.

One aspect of the GLCC is the awarding of the Alfred Saupe Prize to Prof Dr Albert Schenning (Eindhoven University of Technology) for his outstanding research on stimuli-responsive liquid crystalline polymers. The thematic focus is the Daniel Vorländer lecture by Dr Eva Otón (Military University of Technology, Poland), who will show how curious the structures of chiral liquid crystal systems can be. Other guests include Dr Danging Liu (Eindhoven University of Technology) with the lecture "Interactive liquid crystal polymers for 2D robotic functions", Prof. Dr Paul Schoot (Utrecht University) with "Tactoids Large and Small: Impact of an Electric Field" and Prof. Dr Anne Staubitz' (University of Bremen) contribution "Photoactuation of Polymer Films with Photoactive LC Phases". "We hope to open up new fields of application for liquid crystals in the future. For example, my team is working on photonic chemosensors that are suitable for detecting poisons, drugs and explosives," says UDE Professor Michael Giese. He is currently researching the development of adaptive liquid crystals and new materials for 3D printing.

Anyone wishing to attend the event in English at short notice can attend individual programme items. The GLCC 2024 is being organised by CENIDE members Prof. Dr Michael Giese, Prof. Dr Jens Voskuhl and their working groups.