Various kinds of soft nanobuilding blocks such as liquid crystals, supremolecules, and bio-macromolecules can be controlled to produce oriented domains by topographic confinement of the nano- and mirometer-scale geometries. The resulting macroscopic order of soft nanobuilding blocks offers new opportunities for the further expoloration of the exotic physical properties of various kinds of soft matter, and new routes for application in opto-electronic devices, bio-mimics and sensing devices.

In order to achieve well-controlled optical structures, we have utilized soft nanomaterials exhibiting self-assembly as building blocks. During the self-assembling process, the nanomaterials feel the internal and external strength to form intriguing nano- and macro-structures under the various environmental conditions such as the molecular affinity, the topographic confinement, electro-magnetic field, etc. The completely controlled environmental conditions for the self-assembling process can generate the well-ordered defects for broadening application fields or defect free optical structures for advanced opto-electric devices.

Extremely controlled nanostructures of soft nanobuilding blocks can be great candidates for useful applications due to their intrinsic self-assembly behavior. We are interested in various applications, such as superhydrophobic surface, polarization illuminating film, and nanoparticle array in soft template, based on self-assembled soft nanomaterials in nano- and macro-scale.

Self-organized chiral structure such as blue phases and cholesteric liquid crystal (CLC) is one of the most interesting fields in liquid crystal display (LCD) application because their unusual chirality results in intriguing optical properties. In addition, well-ordered helical structure can also be used as an alignment layer in LCD application to control the orientation of other liquid crystal molecules. A topographical layer of DNA can provide an instant and convenient tool for the fabrication of the LCD compared to the conventional ways.

■ Research Overview

We have keen interests in “liquid crystal nanofabrication; the construction of defect-free nanostructures of liquid crystal materials in large area” to realize potential applications such as organic opto-electronics, multi-functional surfaces, and advanced liquid crystal displays. In order to control various kinds of self-assembled nanostructures of liquid crystal materials, we use topographical confinements of nanostructures such as micro-channel, porous media, in which surface treatments can be added to control the orientation of liquid crystal molecules. Nano-characterization of controlled nanostructures is also significant for our goal, thus we use the convolution methods including microscopes (polarizing, fluorescent, laser scanning confocal microscopes, electron microscopes, and atomic force microscope) and diffraction tools (X-ray diffraction with a synchrotron radiation). Our final goal is to conduct a full system from synthesis, fabrication, and characterization of liquid crystals for the various applications mentioned above.

1. Soft nanomaterial nano- and micro-fabrication

2. Soft nanomaterials in the confined geometries

3. Advanced Liquid crystal display application 

4. Applications based on soft nanomaterials

Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology (E6-6)

291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Republic of Korea

Tel: +82-42-350-1116