in partnership with the British Liquid Crystal and International Liquid Crystal Societies

10 December 2019

​Chair: Dr. Mamatha Nagaraj, University of Leeds

This one day symposium will focus on recent advances and innovation in soft materials and technology.

The symposium topics will include:

  • Liquid crystals and colloidal self-assembly
  • Polymers, elastomers and gels
  • Responsive materials and structure property relationships
  • Optics, photonics, photovoltaic and other applications


Cliff Jones

University of Leeds

Professor Jones has been awarded the Katharine Burr Blodgett Medal and Prize for his innovations in the field of liquid crystal displays and his entrepreneurial success in founding Displaydata Ltd, a leading supplier of graphic labels for the retail sector.

In 1995 he co-invented the Zenithal Bistable Display, an ultra-low power LCD that applies sub-micron gratings to an otherwise standard device. Seeing promise for application in electronic paper, Jones raised venture capital to form ZBD Displays Ltd, which became the UK Civil Service’s first venture-backed spinout in 2000, raising more than £50 million in total.

Now called Displaydata, the company is the world-leading provider of graphic electronic shelf-edge labels, with more than $22 m a year in sales. It was the 2012 recipient of the Institute of Physics Innovation Award, placed fifth in the Sunday Times Techtrack that same year, and was Europe’s second fastest growing technology company according to Deloitte.

Its commercial success is rooted in novel physics associated with confinement of liquid crystals, topological defects and polarity that were unique in LCD but are now of major interest internationally.

Professor Jones is now involved in the commercialisation of Leeds research into switchable contact lenses.

Torsten Fritz

Friedrich Schiller University

Coming soon...

Mamatha Nagaraj

University of Leeds

"I am an experimental physicist and the theme of my research has been to understand fundamental soft matter physics underpinning novel functional and and responsive materials. The main focus is to combine the remarkable features of soft matter self-assembly with nanoscience and technology; to design and invent new materials and exploit them for technological applications.

Current research topics include; (i) surface modification of polymers using liquid crystals as imprinting media, (ii) liquid crystals for beam steering applications, (iii) fabrication of novel colloidal particles and soft matter topology, (iv) aggregation induced emission, (v) liquid crystals of novel architechtures and exotic mesophases. I use experimental techniques including optical and fluorescent microscopy, super-reolution microscopy such as SIM, STED and STORM."

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