2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue
PHYS5016M Soft Matter Physics: Liquid Crystals
15 creditsClass Size: 90
Module manager: Prof Cliff Jones
Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable
Year running 2022/23
Pre-requisite qualificationsLevel 2 Phyiscs or Equivalent
This module is not approved as an Elective
Module summaryHaving learnt about solids, liquids and gases, you are ready to learn some soft matter physics and liquid crystals. These are important states of matter that have intermediate order between the liquid and crystal solids. They are relevant to many aspects of science and technology, from display devices to biological. This module will provide you with the background physics behind the principal liquid crystal phases.
Objectives- To provide a broad context of the properties of soft condensed matter
- To introduce the physics of liquid crystal and amphiphilic materials and liquid crystal devices
- To make clear the connections between the physical properties of liquid crystals and their applications.
On completion successful students will be able to:
- Understand the general concepts of soft matter physics and liquid crystals.
- Demonstrate analytical thinking in the choice of methods for characterising soft materials.
- Show creativity in solving problems, particularly the ability to relate material properties to device design.
- Apply physical methods learnt during the module to new problems in liquid crystal physics and devices, and soft matter systems more widely.
- Gain understanding in research methodologies applied to liquid crystal systems
- Become more aware of the commercial aspects of the LCD industry
1. Introduction to soft matter and liquid crystals
2. Optical and electrical properties of liquid crystals
3. Electro-optic behaviour of liquid crystals and application to LCDs
4. Characterization techniques for liquid crystals.
5. Chirality in liquid crystals; consequences of breaking symmetry
6. Novel phases and future display modes
7. Amphiphilic Liquid crystals
8. Liquid crystals in biology
9. Liquid crystals at the interface with other soft matter systems; polymers, colloids and gels
|Private study hours
|Total Contact hours
|Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)
Private studyStudents will be given recommended reading at key points through the course. General recommended texts include:
R.A.L. Jones - Soft Condensed Matter, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002
I.W. Hamley - Introduction to Soft Matter, Wiley, Chichester, 2000
P. Collings, M. Hird - Introduction to Liquid Crystals
L. S. Hirst, Fundamentals of Soft Matter Science, CRC Press 2013
A key part of the module will be the assignment, and this will require wider detailed research and preparation.
Opportunities for Formative FeedbackRegular assessments
Methods of assessment
|% of formal assessment
|Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)
Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated
|% of formal assessment
|Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)
|2 hr 00 mins
|Total percentage (Assessment Exams)
Students will have to complete an in-person exam at the end of the module. This will take place during the examinations period at the end of the semester and will be time bound. Students must submit a serious attempt at all assessments for this module, in order to pass the module overall.
Reading listThere is no reading list for this module
Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:31:38
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