MAE Seminar: Liquid Crystal Elastomers

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium (MDEA)
Kaushik Bhattacharya

Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Materials Science; Vice Provost

Abstract: Liquid crystal elastomers are rubbery solids with liquid crystal mesogens incorporated into their main chains. They display an isotropic-to-nematic phase transformation accompanied by a large spontaneous deformation. This in turn leads to a rich variety of phenomena including ultrasoft behavior, stripe domains, shape-morphing, etc. Furthermore, when made as slender structures, the structural instability of slender structures and the material instabilities of liquid crystal elastomers combine and compete in interesting ways. This talk will provide an introduction to these materials and provide examples from contemporary research about opportunities these materials present.

Bio: Kaushik Bhattacharya is the Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of mechanics and materials science as well as vice-provost at the California Institute of Technology. He received his B.Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, in 1986, his Ph.D from the University of Minnesota in 1991 and did postdoctoral training at the Courant Institute for Mathematical Sciences 1991-1993. Bhattacharya joined Caltech in 1993. He has held various visiting positions and has received  Distinguished Alumni awards from the University of Minnesota and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, the Warner T. Koiter Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (2015), the Graduate Student Council Teaching and Mentoring Award at Caltech (2013), the Young Investigator Prize from the Society of Engineering Science (2004) and the Special Achievements Award in Applied Mechanics from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2004).