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The University of Southampton

Honours for Southampton liquid crystal researchers

Published: 24 January 2018

Latest research into liquid crystals, the technology behind flat screen LCD displays, has been recognised by the award of a major prize in this multidisciplinary field to University of Southampton researchers.

Dr Martin Grossel, Professor Geoffrey Luckhurst, Dr Bakir Timimi and Dr Neil Wells from Chemistry in Southampton, together with fellow researchers Dr Alya Dawood, (formerly of Southampton), Professor Robert Richardson (Bristol) and Professor Yousif Yousif, received the Luckhurst-Samulski Prize for their paper On the twist-bend nematic phase formed directly from the isotropic phase at a lunch with the publishers Taylor & Francis.

Their research is concerned with how changes in the structure at a molecular level influence the properties of the liquid crystal phases and lead to the discovery of the so-called twist-bend phase. This work could lead to further improvements in the quality of the next generation of liquid crystal displays as well as new applications.

The Luckhurst-Samulski Prize was launched in 2009 by the international academic journal, Liquid Crystals, to recognise the best paper published over the last year; it is named after its founding Editors. In 2016, more than 230 papers were considered for the honour. The Selection Committee regarded Southampton’s research as highly significant and certain to trigger further experimental and theoretical work.

“This is a tremendous honour for my colleagues,” says Head of Chemistry Professor Gill Reid. “Geoffrey Luckhurst is one of the pioneering Fathers of the development of liquid crystals. Following his formal retirement from Southampton in 2004, Geoffrey has continued with an active research programme in Southampton exploring new liquid crystal behaviour and phases as an Emeritus Professor; I am delighted that their work has been recognised in this way.”


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