Switchable waveguiding in photonic liquid crystal microstructures
(Applications award) For outstanding work on preparation and characterization of a tunable optical waveguides created using micro-structured fibers filled with liquid crystal. Advisor: Heinz Kitzerow, University of Paderborn, Germany.
The taming of the screw: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love elliptic functions
(Physics award) For highly creative application of analytical mathematics combined with deep geometrical insight to an especially interesting variety of problems in liquid crystal physics. Advisor: Randall Kamien, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
Boron clusters as the centerpiece of advanced liquid crystals: Fundamental chemistry and properties
(Chemistry award): For outstanding work in the synthesis of liquid crystalline materials possessing unique carborane units in the core, leading to extremely novel highly polar and/or ionic liquid crystals. Advisor: Piotr Kaszynski, Vanderbilt University, USA.
Colloidal interactions and novel colloidal structures in thin nematic layers
(Materials Science award): For the beautiful, insightful, and precise merging, both experimentally and theoretically, of low dimensional topology with defect structures in liquid crystalline colloids. Advisor: Igor Musevic, Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Nonlinear Optical and Structural Properties of New Bent-Core Liquid Crystal Materials
For your outstanding work on design, synthesis, and characterization of bent-core mesogens, including new materials for electronic nonlinear optics applications and materials showing photochemically active bent-core phases, development of new X-ray diffraction methods for fundamental structural studies of bent-core phases, and for illuminating studies of the dark conglomerate and B4 phases.
For your pioneering work on liquid crystal – nanoparticle composites, focusing on the interactions of both conventional and unusual liquid crystal phases with custom-clad gold nanoparticles, from both the fundamental and applied viewpoints, and including approaches for making useful improvements to the electro-optic properties of liquid crystals, and the discovery and study of novel chirality phenomena in liquid crystal – gold nanoparticle composites.
Colloidal Structures Confined to Thin Nematic Layers
For your outstanding work on creative and pioneering contributions to the science of liquid crystal colloids through theory and computer simulations, including the prediction that entangled nematic colloidal pairs and also complex nematic braids can be stable in thin nematic films, explanation of the stability of hierarchical colloidal superstructures in mixtures of small and large colloidal particles, and pioneering studies on blue phase colloids.
Artificial Modulation of Self-Organized Structures in Liquid Crystals and its Application to Photonic Devices
For your outstanding experimental and theoretical studies aimed at extending the applications of liquid crystals and nanostructured liquid crystal – polymer composites, with respect to generation and utilization of cholesterics for tunable lasing, development of novel methods for alignment of liquid crystals, and characterization of liquid crystals using fluorescence polarization microscopy.
Layer Curvature and Optical Activity in Bent Core Liquid Crystalline Phases
For his important study of the B4 and dark conglomerate phases, leading to a new understanding of their intriguing structures, specifically that the dark conglomerate phase has a sponge-like structure, while the B4 phase is formed from self-organised nanofilaments. Advisor: Noel Clark, University of Colorado, USA
For her work in developing several novel principles for the operation of polarization-independent modulators based on liquid crystals which significantly advance the fields of liquid crystal photonics and displays. Advisor: Shin-Tson Wu, University of Central Florida, USA
New Liquid Crystal Systems with a Hierarchical Structure
For developing diverse, interesting and novel liquid crystal structures and shapes, including U-shaped and i-shaped molecular systems, which have led to new topologies and complex phase behaviour. Advisor: Atsushi Yoshizawa, Hirosaki University, Japan
Liquid Crystalline Phases in Oligonucleotide Solutions
For his stimulating study of a novel class of liquid crystal assemblies based on short-chain DNA, which show unexpected chiral nematic and columnar phases produced by end-to-end stacking of the oligomers, leading to speculation that this self-organization could increase the probability for the formation of ribozyme-type molecules capable of autocatalysis. Advisor: Tommaso Bellini, University of Milano, Italy
2004: Chirality and Polarity in Bent-core Liquid Crystals
For beautiful elucidation of the roles chirality and polarity play in defining the physical properties of liquid crystalline phases formed by bent core molecules. Advisor: Hideo Takezoe, Tokyo Institute of Technology ( Japan)
2004: Fluctuations and Elasticity of Fluid Membranes and Lamellar Phases
For illuminating theories on the importance of fluctuations on the elasticity of liquid crystalline lamellar phases and fluid membranes. Advisor: Philip Pincus, University of California Santa Barbara (USA)
Swelling Dynamics and Electro-mechanical Effects of Liquid Crystal Elastomers as an Artificial Muscle
For novel research on the swelling dynamics of liquid crystalline elastomers resulting in the first demonstration of their application as low voltage driven artificial muscles. Advisor: Shoichi Kai, Kyushu University (Japan)
2002: Behavior of Colloidal Inclusions in Liquid Crystal Solvents
For research on the synthesis of novel colloidal inclusions in liquid crystals and the discovery and interpretation of new phase separation mechanisms, also in electric fields. Advisor: Philippe Poulin, University of Bordeaux (France)
2001: Study of Ordering and Forces in Liquid Crystal Solid Interfaces
For research on a new and original way, with potential for novel photonic devices, for studying the structure of liquid crystal interfaces using atomic force spectroscopy that resulted in the first observations of liquid crystalline capillary condensation in confined films of nanometer length scales. Advisor: Igor Musevic, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
2002: Study of Liquid Crystalline Networks and their Potential Uses in Molecular Imprinting Techniques
For research on the synthesis of novel liquid crystalline polymers and the demonstration of their exceptional properties as more efficient templates for molecular imprinting techniques. Advisor: Monique Mauzac, Paul Sabatier University (France)
2001: High Resolution x-ray scattering studies of critical behavior at the nematic to smectic-A transition in a strong magnetic field
For research resulting in major advances in the quality and precision of x-ray measurements of the nematic-smectic A phase transition in a strong magnetic field raising the discussion of this important outstanding problem in condensed matter physics to a new plateau. Advisor: Satyendra Kumar, Kent State University (USA)
1999: Polarization-Analyzed Resonant X-ray Scattering Study of Chiral Smectic C Variant Phases in Freely Suspended Liquid Crystal Films
For succesfully observing, for the first time, the double layer periodicity of antiferroelectric liquid crystals by means of the resonant X-ray scattering technique. Advisor: C-C. Huang, Physics, U.Minn./USA
The synthesis and characterization of smectic A monodomain and smectic C elastomers, liquid crystal gels with novel physical properties including macroscopic in-plane fluidity. Advisor: Heino Finkelmann, Macromolecular Chemistry, Freiburg U./Germany
1998. In-plane Switching Electro-optical Effect of Nematic Liquid Crystals
The development of the in-plane switching mode for LC nematic displays resulting in the production of marketable Super TFT LCDs with an ultra-wide viewing angle and improved operating parameters. Advisor: Youkoh Kaizu, Physics, TIT/Japan
Computer simulations using the Gay-Berne potential to establish connections between molecular processes of a large variety of liquid crystalline states and their physical properties. Advisor: Geoffrey R. Luckhurst, Chemistry, U. Southampton (UK)
Nematic Liquid Crystals and Nematic Colloids in Microfluidic Environment
For his outstanding thesis describing the results of comprehensive experimental study of behaviors of thermotropic nematic liquid crystals in microfluidic environment and the development of microfluidic devices customized for controlled flow of liquid crystals with complex topological internal structures. Advisor: Christian Bahr, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany.
Topology and geometry of defects in confined nematics
For his outstanding thesis describing a new theoretical approach, whereby the combination of local defect geometry and topological properties of nematic disclination networks allows for a complete theoretical description of arbitrary complex nematic braids. Advisor: Slobodan Žumer, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
For her outstanding thesis describing seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of the Kerr effect, development of record high Kerr effect materials for use in blue phase devices, and novel design of practically viable blue phase devices. Advisor: Shin-Tson Wu, University of Central Florida
Orlando, Florida, USA
For his outstanding thesis describing a systematic study of composites made of a thermotropic liquid crystal and metal or semiconductor nanoparticles, microscopically characterizing the delicate structural balance in the complex composites, thereby elucidating that ubiquitous unusual properties of composite can be attributed to electro-convection and developing a way to effectively control these effects. Advisor: Heinz Kitzerow, University of Paderborn, Germany.
Controlling defects in nematic and smectic liquid crystals through boundary geometry
For his outstanding theoretical work to identify the rich possibilities and outcomes of controlling defects in nematic and smectic liquid crystals under a variety of boundary conditions. The demonstration of the well controlled disclinations and focal conics is expected to open up a novel route for self-assembly in soft-ordered materials.
A first example of a lyotropic smectic C* analog phase: design, properties and chirality effects
For her discovery and detailed characterization of lyotropic smectic C* phases that shed refreshing light on the fundamental question in tilted smectic liquid crystals about the origin of interlayer chiral correlation. The hypothesis of particular ordered structures of achiral solvents being the origin of the interlayer correlation has been well substantiated by experimental evidence.
Optical Shaping of Structural Self-Oraganization and Topology in Soft Matter
For his outstanding research contribution to enriching the toolbox for structural manipulation of soft matter based on the optical effect and its application to liquid crystal colloids and polymeric systems. His research pioneered a new trend in the artificial control of microscopic topological structures in liquid crystals that opens a novel avenue for self-assembly in soft matter with a wide range of future applications.
For his finding and detailed analysis of nonpolar and nonlinear electrophoresis in nematic liquid crystals driven by the polar orientation structure and accompanying flow under electric fields. The new phenomenon eliminates the issues of the conventional linear electrophoresis driven by DC fields and will find applications in microfluidics and sensing to sorting of biomolecules.
For her outstanding work on nematic elastomer coatings demonstrating the ability to program different surface profiles to the elastomer coating via its nematic director. It highlights general principles underlying this design mechanism by directly relating surface topography to the bend and splay of the director field and identifying the role of topological defects.
For her deep understanding of the interplay between chirality and elasticity in both lyotropic and thermotropic liquid crystals. It concerns the development of chiral structures in liquid crystals and the effects of the confinement by interfaces, magnetic field, elasticity, and chirality.
For his outstanding work on designing and synthesizing new acrylate liquid crystal elastomers and the development of mechanically switchable lenses for vision correction. His work is important not just in the context of liquid crystals, polymers and soft matter, but more broadly in auxetic materials and biomaterials.
For her outstanding work on the geometric confinement introducing complex defect structures and revealing new insight into liquid crystal self-organization. Her work exploits an elegant interplay of topological constraints and geometric frustration to guide the formation of unexpected self-assembled complex structures.
For his outstanding work on the design and synthesis of light-responsive molecules and remote-controllable smart materials. The synthesized photo-responsive materials and the observed structural relationship will have a significant impact on novel photonic devices with a wide range of future applications.
For his development of the advanced technology for liquid crystal displays with high image quality. Also established was a solid theoretical foundation to perform further analysis of liquid crystal displays in terms of three key display metrics of response time, color gamut, and contrast ratio.
For his outstanding research on the viscoelastic properties of lyotropic chromonic liquid crystals showing many interesting features of a new class of active matters. His most important accomplishment was the discovery of a remarkable biomechanical material composed of swimming bacteria suspended in a water-soluble non-toxic liquid crystal, termed as a living liquid crystal.
For his theoretical work on the topology and field states in soft matters, especially in complex liquid crystalline environments, with the goal to predict and determine topological properties of the objects such as field knots and topological defects. Another aspect of his contribution to soft matters, the stability of minimal surfaces, opens up a fascinating new field at the intersection of physics and mathematics.