Congressman Tim Ryan Announces $241,662 for Kent State University to Continue to Study Liquid Crystals | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Congressman Tim Ryan Announces $241,662 for Kent State University to Continue to Study Liquid Crystals

May 27, 2021
Press Release

Kent, Ohio — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today announces $241,662 to Kent State University from the National Science Foundation Grant to continue the study of liquid crystals. Kent State University discovered liquid crystals more than 50 years ago and continues to be a leader in the field. Liquid crystals are used in television screens, cell phone screens, and countless other technologies.  

"I commend Kent State’s over 55-years of liquid crystal research and the university's commitment to continue to lead in this important field,” said Congressman Ryan. “The research done here has led to countless technological and medical advancements and provided new energy applications. I will always support these types of federal investments that help our community continue to lead.”

"Professor Lavrentovitch, one of Kent State’s most productive and innovative material scientists, will lead a team focused on gaining new knowledge on how liquid crystals behave under various environmental conditions,” said Paul E. DeCorleto, PhD, Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs at Kent State University. “What they discover will help launch novel products manufactured with liquid crystals, which were discovered at Kent State over 50 years ago. Liquid crystals are now used in nearly all television and cell phone screens and in countless other applications.”

This NSF-supported project focuses on the difficult problem of phase transitions and shape morphing in soft materials. One of the objectives is to understand how and why organic molecules arrange into nontrivial shapes, such as spool-like structures of tightly wound DNA in viral capsids. The results will be of importance in mathematics, physics, and materials science since the development of various shape morphologies in organic matter is a ubiquitous natural phenomenon. The grant supports a collaborative team of researchers at the Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State, and mathematicians at the University of Akron and Indiana University.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting-edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future.