Personal profile


Postgraduate Opportunities

Postgraduate projects are available on several topics:

1. Liquid crystal - nanotube dispersions

2. Stabilising Blue Phases

3. Graphene Oxide Lyotropic Liquid Crystals

4. Liquid crystals with functional nanoparticles

5. Mimicking magnetotactic bacteria with liquid crystals

6. Chirality and chirality transfer in ferroelectric liquid crystals

7. Coarsening phenomena in anisotropic fluids

8. Electro-migration of nanoparticles in anisotropic liquids

9. Pattern and pattern formation in liquid crystals

10. Liquid crystal-polymer composites

Further information


  • Liquid Crystals
  • Soft Matter Physics
  • Nanomaterials

Memberships of committees and professional bodies


My group

Other research

Research Institutes

Research interests

· Liquid crystal - nanotube dispersions

The self-organising properties of liquid crystals can be used to transfer orientational order onto dispersed nanotubes. These can then be reoriented by application of electric, magnetic or optical fields, leading to externally steered nanotube switches.

· Dispersions of colloidal particles in liquid crystals

The dispersion of colloidal particles in anisotropic fluids leads to a variety of specific defects and pattern formation behaviour. These phenomena are only marginally understood at the present time and the diversity of additional effects by application of external fields is open to be discovered.

· (Lyotropic) graphene oxide liquid crystals

Graphene oxide in water or other isotropic solvents forms a lyotropic nematic phase with many interesting properties. We further investigate carbon based nanomaterials in thermotropic phases, which change their properties, and experience an ordering field through the liquid crystalline order.

· Chirality in anisotropic fluids

Introduction of chirality to anisotropic fluids leads to a variety of new phenomena, such as the formation of helical superstructures, the appearance of novel frustrated phases and polar effects.

· Polar effects in liquid crystals

Polar effects in liquid crystals are mostly (but not exclusively) related to chiral molecules constituent of a variety of different phases. These relate to flexoelectric, ferro-, ferri- and antiferroelectric properties of liquid crystals.

· Polymer modified liquid crystals

Polymer stabilised liquid crystals offer potential for applicational use in reflective displays. At the same time, the underlying fundamental physics of these systems, i.e. the relationship between polymerisation conditions, polymer network morphology, interactions between liquid crystal and polymer network and the resultant electro-optic properties are far from being understood on a quantitative basis.

· Nucleus growth and coarsening in liquid crystalline systems

The growth of nuclei of a thermodynamically favoured phase after a temperature quench across a phase transition can be described by simple universal scaling laws, just as well as the coarsening dynamics at later time scales (defect annihilation). Experimental investigations of both processes are relatively rare for liquid crystalline materials.

· Fractal structures in soft matter materials

The recent discovery of a variety of novel liquid crystalline phases, the so called banana phases, has attracted much experimental and theoretical interest. In contrast to ordinary liquid crystals, these phases exhibit fractal growth aggregates, a commonly observed behaviour in many other soft matter systems, like polymers or colloids.


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Communicating Physics through the Royal Society

    Shude Mao (Participant), Nicholas Rattenbury (Participant), Bruno Maffei (Participant), Clive Dickinson (Participant), Matthew Gleeson (Participant), Ingo Dierking (Participant), Mark Dickinson (Participant), Konstantin Novoselov (Participant), Andre Geim (Participant), Wendy Flavell (Participant), David Binks (Participant), Tom Spencer (Participant), Mathew Fuller (Participant), Adam Avison (Participant), Ian Duerdoth (Participant), Thorsten Wengler (Participant), Alexander Oh (Participant), Stefan Soldner-Rembold (Participant), Christian Schwanenberger (Participant) & Konstantinos Petridis (Participant)

    Impact: Economic, Technological, Attitudes and behaviours, Awareness and understanding