Physics Colloquium

Physics Colloquium

Hierarchical Self-Assembly in Liquid Crystals a Rich Menu of Basic Science and Technology from the Origin of Life to Trillion Dollar Markets



January 29, 2018 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm


Pettit Building


Rm 102 A&B


University of Colorado Boulder


The study of liquid crystals occupies a central place in materials science, serving as a context for encountering and using a variety of exotic structural themes of molecular organization, particularly of soft matter.  A key feature of molecular ordering in liquid crystals is fluid hierarchical self-assembly, in which molecular structure provides precise control of fluid self-organization over a wide range of length scales.  

A notable outcome of such behavior has been the development of liquid crystal displays, a key enabling technology of the portable computing revolution of the twentieth century.  I will present some self-assembly themes of current interest in liquid crystal, colloids, clays, and films, and argue that liquid crystal hierarchical self-assembly may have been a key feature of early life.