- Please give a short overview of your research.
My research interests focus on light propagation in chiral liquid crystal media. Liquid crystals are partially ordered fluids that feature long-range orientational but no or partial positional order of molecules. Doped with chiral agents, the liquid crystal molecules arrange in space in a periodic helical structure that can reflect visible light if the period of the helix is of the order of the visible wavelength. In our experiments, we prepare and study chiral liquid crystal mixtures that form a peculiar oblique helicoidal state when acted upon by an electric field. This oblique helicoidal structure has unique optical properties manifested by electrically tunable structural colors. The period of the structure and, thus, the reflected colors can be continuously tuned by the field in a wide spectral range including ultraviolet, visible and infrared parts of spectrum. In theory, we model and analyze light propagation in the oblique helicoidal cholesterics at varying applied field and incident angle of light.
- What made you choose to pursue your graduate degree here at Kent State?
Liquid crystal research at Kent State University attracted my attention while applying for a graduate school in physics. The Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute laboratories and characterization facilities offer an opportunity to perform experiments with a wide variety of materials using the most advanced equipment. More importantly, doing research under supervision of leading scientists and technical experts helps to gain experience and opens doors to further career in science.
- What do you enjoy most about attending Kent State for graduate school?
I enjoy the opportunity to participate in modern material science research and interact with young colleagues who have a background in chemistry, physics and biology. The interdisciplinary environment helps me to gain insight into frontiers of today’s research and boosts my own knowledge on the topic I am working on.
- What are your future goals?
I plan to pursue my career in academia. I believe in the driving force of curiosity and an immense contribution of science and technology in building a civilized society. On an individual level for each scientist, both teaching experience and research expertise are important parts of this contribution.
- What does this award mean to you and how will it aid you?
I am very much honored to be one of the recipients of the University Fellowship Award and grateful to the Awards Committee for considering me! Generous support from the fellowship will help me to complete my Ph.D. in physics and pursue my career in science.