Conference Room 1:03, SMC, Alexander Crum Brown Road
MARGARET NORMAND - Liquid crystal laser droplets
Chiral nematic liquid crystals (LC) can be used to form high quality, tuneable resonant cavities suitable for lasing. This is normally achieved in a glass cell or with dried emulsions1, however, recent research has shown that LC droplets suspended in an immiscible host solution can also be used. In these LC droplets, a helical molecular structure forms radially resulting in omnidirectional laser emission. Microfluidic techniques have enabled LC droplets with an optimal structure for lasing to be generated and manipulated. We have studied the optical properties of the droplets during formation, whist flowing in a microfluidic channel, and in storage chambers of various dimensions. In this presentation I will discuss our findings in the context of enabling applications of this technology, such as chemical sensing.
KARINA JERONIMO MARTINEZ - Flexible nanocomposite materials for sensing applications
Zinc oxide (ZnO) is a material used for sensors and actuators due to its piezoelectric properties. The piezoelectric feature combined with the flexibility of a polymer offers novel opportunities to develop flexible force/pressure sensors. In these applications, flexibility, high strain and fatigue resistance to repeated flexing and bending are crucial characteristics which can be enhanced by combining ZnO nanostructures with a flexible polymer. Hence, this study is focused on analysing ZnO nanocomposites by means of mechanical characterization techniques (such as tensile testing and DMTA) and fabrication methods aiming to enhance the piezoelectric response, stretchability and sensitivity of the sensor.