liquid crystal elastomers

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 3:30pm - 4:20pm
Jan Lagerwall (University of Luxembourg)
While more and more research groups around the world explore liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) as soft actuators, for use in, e.g., soft robotics, most experimental approaches produce LCEs that are flat films in their ground state, and they all have positive order parameter in the liquid crystalline phase. Using capillary microfluidics we produce shells of a liquid crystal elastomer precursor, which is turned into a hollow spherical LCE via a two-stage polymerization and crosslinking procedure, with an intermediate osmotic stretching step.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018 - 9:00am - 9:50am
Oleg Lavrentovich (Kent State University)
Self-propelled bacteria are marvels of nature. If we can control their dynamics, we could use it to power microsystems of the future. Unfortunately, bacteria swim mostly randomly in isotropic liquids such as water. It is difficult to control their dynamics by factors other than transient gradients of nutrients; visual, acoustic and tactile communication channels that humans use to control large animals are not effective.
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