Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute to Celebrate “50 Years of Innovation”

World-Renowned Liquid Crystal Institute Turns 50

The Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute® and the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University hosted a 50th anniversary celebration of the institute on Friday, Sept. 25, in the Kent Student Center Kiva on the Kent Campus. The event kicked off a yearlong celebration that will culminate with the International Liquid Crystal Conference (ILCC) at the Kent Campus on July 31-Aug. 5, 2016.

At the Sept. 25 event, Kent State President Beverly Warren and James Blank, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State, gave opening remarks, which were followed by tributes to former Liquid Crystal Institute directors Glenn Brown, Ph.D., Bill Doane, Ph.D., John West, Ph.D., and Oleg Lavrentovich, Ph.D. Kent State alumnus Sung Tae Shin, Ph.D. ’94, physics, professor at Kyung Hee University and retired vice president of Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display Co., presented “Technology Strategy for New Jump in the Display Industry.” A lunch buffet and tours of the institute followed.

In the afternoon, Blank presented “The Future of Liquid Crystals” in the Kent Student Center Kiva. Other afternoon speakers included Achin Bhowmik, Ph.D., vice president and general manager of Perceptual Computing Group, Intel Corporation; Kent State alumnus Cheng Chen, Ph.D. ’06, chemical physics, director, Panel, Process and Optics Engineering at Apple Inc.; Shin; and Noel Clark, Ph.D., professor of physics at the University of Colorado. Hiroshi Yokoyama, Ph.D., director of Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute, provided the closing remarks. 


The 2015-2016 academic year also will mark the first year for the new Master of Science in liquid crystal engineering degree program, a first in the United States.

“Through hands-on experience in liquid crystal device design and fabrication as well as fundamental studies of the science and technology, this new program will prepare the next generation of corporate engineers in the liquid crystal field,” Yokoyama said.

Students also can pursue a Ph.D. in chemical physics, offered since 1994, and participate in basic and applied research with faculty through graduate assistantships. Many of the students publish in prestigious journals, present their research at international conferences and patent new technologies.

About the Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University

The Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University is world-renowned for liquid crystal technology research, development and education that advance our everyday lives. Founded in 1965 by Glenn H. Brown, it is recognized for the invention of the twisted nematic cell, the heart of liquid crystal display, and it continues to lead liquid crystal research and discovery. 

Glenn H. Brown

The Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State advances basic research by providing state-of-the-art facilities and research programs focused on liquid crystal science and display development. The institute focuses on research for a range of multidisciplinary topics from biomedical sciences to smart materials for new energy applications. Pivotal contributions include display tablets, optical shutters, variable transmission windows, projection display devices and flexible displays. 

Alumni of Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute are employed in both academia and top technology companies across the globe, including Apple, Samsung and LG, and continue to make substantial technological advancements in their respective fields. The institute partners with major corporations and government agencies – ChemImage, Kent Displays Inc., Hewlett-Packard, NASA Langley Research Center and more – to continue the advancement and application of liquid crystal technology. 

From 1991 to 2002, a $25 million award from the National Science Foundation for a Science and Technology Center for Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM) allowed Kent State researchers to partner with polymer scientists at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron. This collaboration catalyzed nearly $60 million in additional basic and applied research funding which also led to the creation of several new companies including Kent Displays, AlphaMicron, FITOS, CoAdna Photonics, Hana Microdisplay Technologies and Crystal Diagnostics.

The Liquid Crystal Institute has recently received grant awards from the state of Ohio, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy and NASA, and it has formed research partnerships with liquid crystal display companies, such as LG and BOE.

Learn more about the Liquid Crystal Institute

POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2015 09:22 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2022 02:40 PM
Jim Maxwell