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Profile Detail

Liang-Chy Chien

Professor; Interim Director, Chemical Physics Interdisciplinary Program

L.-C. Chien received his Ph.D. in Polymer Chemistry from the University of Southern Mississippi and joined Liquid Crystal Institute of Kent State in 1988.  His research interests include the studies of advanced functional materials, structures and surfaces as well as the innovative applications of such materials in displays electro-optical and photonic devices. He has published 150 articles, over 150 scientific proceedings and digest papers, edited 15 conference proceedings, three books and seven book chapters as well as 25 issued patents. He is a co-inventor of the bistable reflective cholesteric displays, polymer-stabilized liquid crystal display devices and technologies. Dr. Chien has been active in providing his services to professional society such as organizing and chair conferences as well as serve as an advisor or program committee on many international conferences.

His research in polymer and liquid crystal composites focuses on control of dimension, location and spatial distribution of phase separated polymers at the micro- and nano-scale on substrate surfaces or in the bulk.  His research in polymer dispersed, modified and stabilized liquid crystal materials have led to the development of advanced electro-optical, photonic and display devices such as reflective bistable displays, electrically switchable color filters, electrically-switchable gratings, and blue phases based devices.  The recently developed polymer dispersed and stabilized blue phases enable the fabrication of fast-switching spatial light modulators. 

His research in tailoring liquid crystal materials to provide control over structure, surface, morphology, and processing have led to the development of new electro-optical devices. For examples, research in active and stimuli-responsive low- and high-molar-mass materials have led to the development of artificial muscles, light emitting devices and organic thin film transistors; Furthermore, the active materials whose functionality are used for controlled- assembly or self-assembly of dispersed nanoparticles to ordered structures to enhance desired properties of functional devices.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Current Research (pdf)

Past Research - Scientific American article about Cholesteric LCDs (pdf)

Book Contracts

“Liquid Crystals and Polymers in Display Applications”, C. S. Hsu and L. C. Chien, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC Books, Boca Raton, FL, USA (2014).

“Emerging Display Technologies,” L. C. Chien, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, USA (2015).

Book Chapters

J.-Y. Hwang, V. Borshch and L.-C. Chien “Fast Switching Surface-Polymer-Assisted Vertially Aligned Displays,” Chapter 14, in “Progress in Liquid Crystal (LC) Science and Technology” H.-S. Kwok, S. Nemur, and H.-L. Ong, Eds., World Scientific, Singapore, 2013.

“Spatially-ordered polymers self-assembled in ordered liquid crystal templates,” L.C. Chien, C.O. Catanescu, L. Li, in “Crosslinked Liquid Crystalline Systems: From Rigid Polymer Networks to Elastomers,” D. Broer, G.P. Crawford, and S. Zumer, Eds., Taylor and Francis. (2011).

S. Wang, K.D. Singer, R.G. Petschek, S. Huang, L.-C. Chien, “Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Chiral Chromophores for Nonlinear Optical Applications,” in ACS Symposium Series 795, “Optical Polymers: Fibers and Waveguides” J.P. Harmon, G.K. Noren, Eds., Chapter 6, 77-89 (2001).

L.-C. Chien, “Liquid Crystals and Polymers,” in Liquid Crystals Interactive CD-ROM Education Software, S. Abeygunatharaman Ed., IO Graphics: Kent, OH (1998).

C.V. Rajaram, S.D. Hudson, L.-C. Chien, “Morphology of Composites of Low-Molar-Mass Liquid Crystals and Polymer Networks,” in ACS Symposium Series 672, “Photonic and Optoelectronic Polymers” S.A. Jenekhe, K.J. Wynne Eds., Chapter 34, 507 (1997).

D.K. Yang, L.-C. Chien, "Polymer Stabilized Cholesteric Textures: Materials and Applications," in Liquid Crystals in Complex Geometries, Ed. G.P. Crawford, S. Zumer, Taylor and Francis Publisher: London, Chapter 3, (1996).

L.-C. Chien, M.N. Boyden, A.J. Walz, C.M. Citano, "Recent Advances in Materials for Polymer Stabilized Liquid Crystals," in ACS Symposium Series 632 "Recent Advances in Liquid Crystalline Polymers," A.I. Isayev, Eds. Chapter 11, p. 182, (1996).

Recent Proceedings (2009-2014)

“Advances in Display Technologies IV,” L. C. Chien, S. D. Lee and M. H. Wu, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 9005, 2014.

“Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies IX,” L. C. Chien, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering IV, Vol. 9004, 2014.

“Advances in Display Technologies III,” L. C. Chien, S. D. Lee and M. H. Wu, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 8643, 2013.

“Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VIII,” L. C. Chien, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 8642, 2013.

“Advances in Display Technologies II,” L. C. Chien, S. D. Lee and M. H. Wu, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 8280, 2012.

“Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VII,” L. C. Chien and D. Broer, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 8279, 2012.

“Advances in Display Technologies; and E-papers and Flexible Displays,” K. Blankenbach L. C. Chien, S. D. Lee and M. H. Wu, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 7956, 2011.

“Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VI,” L. C. Chien, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 7955, 2011.

“Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies V,” L. C. Chien, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 7618, 2010.

“Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies IV,” L. C. Chien and M. Wu, The Proceeding of International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 7232, 2009.

Recent Publications (2009-2013)

T. Nose, L.-C. Chien, O. Catanescu, A. Golvin, Y. Ito, T. Sasamori, Y. Isota, R. Ito and M. Honma, “Improved high-freqency performance of microstrip-line-type liquid crystal phase shifter, Jpn. J. Appl. Phys. 52, 091701-1-5 (2013).

X.-S. Qian1, S.-G. Lu, X. Li, H. Gu, L.-C. Chien, Q. Zhang, “Large electrocaloric effect in a dielectric liquid possessing a large dielectric anisotropy near the isotropic–nematic transition,” Adv. Fuct. Mater. 23, 2894-2898 (2013).

D.-Y. Kim, S.-A Lee, H.-J. Choi, L.-C. Chien, M.-H. Lee and K.-U. Jeong, “Reversible actuating and writing behaviours of a head-to-side connected main-chain photochromic liquid crystalline polymer,” J. Mater. Chem C, 1, 1375-1382 (2013).

S.-H. Kim, L. Shi and L.-C. Chien, “Chiral Flexoelectro-Optic Effect in a Surface-Polymer Assisted Cholesterics with Uniform Lying Helix,” Ferroelectrics, 431, 81-88 (2012).

J.-M. Wong, J.-Y. Hwang and L.-C. Chien, “Electrically reconfigurable and thermally sensitive optical properties of gold nanorods dispersed liquid crystal blue phase” Soft Matter, 7, 7956-7959 (2011).

J.-Y. Hwang, D.-S. Seoa and L.-C. Chien, “Liquid crystal alignment on inorganic film by ion beam irradiation for flexible display applications”, Liq. Cryst. 38, 877-883 (2011).

C. Braganza, L.C. Chien, M.R. Fisch, R.G. Petschek, Spectrographic ellipsometry study of a liquid crystal display substrate consisting of thin films of SiO2, polyimide and indium tin oxide glass, Thin solid Films, 519, 4384-4389 (2011).

S.-Y. Lu and L.-C. Chien, “Electrically switched color with polymer-stabilized blue-phase liquid crystals,” Optics Lett. 35, 562-564 (2010).

H.-J. Choi, K.-U. Jeong, L.-C. Chien and M.-H. Lee, “Photochromic 3-dimensional actuator based on an uncrosslinked liquid crystal elastomer,” J. Mater. Chem., 19, 7124–7129 (2009).

S. H. Kim, L. Shi and L.-C. Chien, “Fast flexoelectric switching in a cholesteric liquid crystal cell with surface-localized polymer network,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 42, 195102 (2009).

J.-Y. Hwang and L.-C. Chien, “Liquid crystal alignment on inkjet printed and air-buffed polyimide with nano-grove surface,” J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys. 42, 055305 (2009).

Recent Conference Proceedings and Digest Papers (2009-2013)

M.-F. Wang, J.-Y. Hwang, and L.-C. Chien, “Colloidal particles doping effect on a blue-phase liquid crystal medium,” SID ‘11 Digest, 1654-1657 (2011).

J.-Y. Hwang, L.-C. Chien, “Fast switching surface-polymer-assisted IPS liquid crystal displays”, SID ‘11 Digest, 945-947 (2011).

J.-Y. Hwang, J. Xiang, S.-Y. Lu, L.-C. Chien, “Wide temperature range blue phase liquid crystals for displays,” Proceeding of SPIE Emerging Liquid Crystal Technologies VI, Vol. 7955, 79550H (2011).

J.-Y. Hwang, V. Borshch, and L.-C. Chien, “Fast Switching Surface-Polymer-Assisted Vertically Aligned Nematic,” IMID/IDMC/ASIA DISPLAY 2010 DIGEST, 187-193 (2010).

J. Xiang, S.-Y. Lu and L.-C. Chien, “A wide temperature blue phase liquid crystal for Kerr devices,” SID 10 Digest, 80-83 (2010).

S.-Y. Lu and L.-C. Chien, “Electrically inducd color with polymer-stabilized blue phase” SID 09 Digest, 1193-1195 (2009).

L. Lu, S.-Y. Lu, L.-C. Chien, “Fast-switching electro-optical films based on polymer encapsulated liquid crystal, carbon nanotube, and dye,” SPIE 7232, 23204-723204-9 (2009).

“Effect of IPS cell structure on the electro-optical property of a room temperature blue phase liquid crystal,” L. Lu, J.-Y. Hwang and L.-C. Chien, SID 09 Digest, 1608-1610 (2009).

Recent Patents (2009-2013)



Blue phase liquid crystal nanocomposites and devices containing the same, L-C. Chien; J. Y. Hwang; J.-M. Wong



Liquid crystal alignment using inkjet printed polymers, L-C. Chien; J. Y. Hwang



Polymer enhanced cholesteric electro-optical devices, L.-C.Chien, L. Shi, S. H. Kim

WO 2011/102892


Fast-switching surface-stabilized liquid crystal cells, L.-C. Chien, Volodymyr Borshch, Jeoung-Yeon Huang



Method of fabricating electro-optical devices with polymer-stabilized liquid crystal molecules, L. Komitov, L.-C. Chien, S. H. Kim



Cholesteric liquid crystal light modulators, L.-C. Chien, S. Y. Lu



Method of plasma beam bombardment of aligning films for liquid crystals, L.-C. Chien, A. Dobrovolskyy, O. Yaroshchuk, O. Lavrentovich



Method of plasma beam bombardment of aligning films for liquid crystals, L.-C. Chien, A. Dobrovolskyy, O. Yaroshchuk; O. Lavrentovich



Polymer enhanced cholesteric electro-optical devices, L.-C. Chien, L. Shi, S.H. Kim



Method of fabricating electro-optical devices with polymer-stabilized liquid crystal molecules, L. Komitov, L.-C. Chien, S. H. Kim

Research Areas
  • Tailoring liquid crystal materials to provide control over structure
  • Morphology
  • Processing in the development of new electro-optical devices

Undergraduate Students Supervised or Honor Thesis Directed

  1. Shelly Landis, won the ACS Cleveland Section 1994 Lubrizol Undergraduate Research Award on her summer '93 work “Synthesis of LCPs”at LCI.  (Northwestern U.)
  2. Andrew Walz (KSU), Honors Thesis, May '94: “Tailor Made Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Polymers.”  (U. Virginia)
  3. Sam Rubens (KSU), July 93-95, “Synthesis of LCPs.”
  4. Julie Cho, Spring 94-96, “Synthesis of LCPs.”
  5. Keith Obermeier (KSU), Sep. 91-Aug. 92, “Synthesis of gel monomers.”
  6. John Bender (Baldwin-Wallace C., OH), June 92-August 92, “Synthesisof Monomers for PSCT displays.”  (Brown U.)
  7. Paul Pike (KSU), Sept. 92-Sept. 94, “Synthesis of LCs."
  8. Karen K. Winely (KSU), Sept. 92-Sept. 94, “Synthesis of LCs."
  9. Tom Perkowski (KSU), Jan. 93-Jan 94, “Synthesis of LCPs."
  10. Mark Keener, (KSU), Sept 94-May 95, “Synthesis of LCPs.”
  11. Sandi Campbell, (KSU), Honors Thesis, December 96, "Synthesis and Characterization of Cholesteric Polymer Liquid Crystals."
  12. Neal D'Sidoky, (KSU), Jan. 94-May 96, "Synthesis of Liquid-Crystalline Polymers and Elastomers."
  13. Stella Souers, (KSU), August. 95-Aug. 97.  (Crystaloid Inc.)
  14. Mike Waxter, (KSU), Jan. 96-June 97, (B.F. Goodrich)
  15. Lauren Borkowski, (KSU), Fall 96-98, Honors Thesis “High Birefringence LC Monomers for Broad Band Cholesteric Displays.”
  16. Kate Allender, (Wooster College), Summers 97,98, “Chiral Lyortropic LCs.”
  17. Bart Heldreth, (KSU), Summer 97, “Polymer-Stabilized Liquid Crystals.”
  18. Brian Blake, (Miami U., OH) Summer 98, “Emulsion Polymerization of LCPs.”
  19. Brian Macauley, (KSU) 97-99, Honor Thesis, “Synthesis of reactive liquid crystalline monomers and Mesomorphic properties.” (Nanomaterials, OH)
  20. Amy Raber (KSU, MS/Chemistry) 1999-2000.
  21. Julie Stile, (KSU) 2003-2004.
  22. Aaron Sisek, (KSU) 2009-2011, Honor Thesis, “Surface Patterned Polymer Films for IR Shielding.” August 2011.

Graduate Students Directed

  1. Leonorina. G. Cada, Ph.D. 1993; "Synthesis and Properties of Epoxy- and Siloxane-Based Side-Chain Liquid Crystalline Polymers." (Assistant Professor, U. Phillippines)
  2. Bai Feng, M.S, 1996 Synthesis and Properties of Regiocontrolled Liquid-Crystalline Polyesters with Main-Chain Chirality."
  3. Jennifer Colegrove, M.S. 1997, polymer-dispersed liquid crystals.
  4. Jaehyuck Choi, M.S, 1999, Polymer-dispersed liquid crystals.
  5. Keshav S. Gavtam, M.S. 1999, Organic Light Emitting Polymers.
  6. Larry Manuel, Ph.D., 2002, Synthesis and characterization of ferroelectric liquid crystals.
  7. Shinwoong Kang, Ph.D, 2003, Polymer-stabilized cholesteric liquid crystals for electrically-switchable diffraction gratings”. 2001 Materials Research Society Silver Medal Award Winner.
  8. Sang Hwa Kim, Ph.D. 2004, Morphology and electro-optics of polymer-modified liquid crystal devices.
  9. Dong Wang, 2003-present, Switchable liquid crystal optical elements.
  10. Clington Braganza, 2005-present, High Dielectric Liquid Crystal Composites.
  11. Shin-Ying Lu, 2006-present, Electro-Optical and Photonics Applications of Polymer-Stabilized Liquid Crystal Devices.
  12. Lu Lu, 2007- , Polymer Stabilized/Dispersed Liquid Crystal and Nanoparticle Composites.
  13. Jie Xiang, 2009- , Blue phase LCs for photonic crystal fibers.
  14. Volodymir Borsch, 2009 – Surface polymer stabilization assisted LC alignment
  15. Mengfei Wang 2011-2012 – Colloidal and blue phase liquid crystal dispersion
  16. Emine Kimilioglu 2011- Polymer stabilized blue phase liquid crsytals
  17. Pedro Cutino Soto 2012 –2013 Morphological and dielectric studies of polymer stabilizaiton alignment for new LC modes
  18. Andrii Varn 2013- – polymer stabilized Blue phase liquid crystals for diffraction gratings
  19. Libo Weng 2013- – polymer stabilized liquid crsytals for fast switching liquid crystal displays
  20. Tanyi Gao 2012- – dielectric characterization of polymer stabilized liquid crystals

Postdoctoral Fellows Directed

  1. Cui-Lien. Lin (90-91)
  2. Ibrahim G. Shenouda (91-93)
  3. V. Surendrath (92)
  4. Nathalie Leroux (93- 95)
  5. Uwe Müller (93-94)
  6. Marie-Flore Nabor (93-94)
  7. Frédric Vicentini (94-95)
  8. Mingqian He (95-96)
  9. Chris Hudson (95-96)
  10. Yuhui. Lin (94-97)
  11. Tony Ta-Hong Tong (96-98)
  12. Soonnam Lee (97-99)
  13. Milind Sonpatki (97-99)
  14. Shungxi Wang (98-00)
  15. Jong-Beom Baek (98-99)
  16. Peihwei Chu (00-01)
  17. S. Suresh (00-01)
  18. Toru Doi (01-02)
  19. Soon Nam Lee (01-03)
  20. Otilia Catanescu (01-05)
  21. Kin Nam Chang (05-06)
  22. Andrii Golovin (05-07)
  23. Jong Chan Won (06-07)
  24. Jeong-Yeon Hwang (06-08)
  25. John Harden (10-11)
Liang-Chy Chien
Department of Chemical Physics
Liquid Crystal Institute
Phone: 330-672-3827
Fax: 330-672-2796