Multi-functional Liquid Crystalline Epoxy Networks (Prof. Kessler, Washington State)


“Multi-functional Liquid Crystalline Epoxy Networks”

Prof. Michael R. Kessler
School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Washington State University, Pullman, Washington


The GGPF Gratefully acknowledges TA Instruments for sponsoring this month's event.

Liquid crystalline networks (LCNs) are versatile functional materials because of the unique properties of liquid crystalline molecules, e.g., self-organization, reversible phase transition, and macroscopic orientation under external fields. The coupling between LC molecules and polymer networks allows these remarkable properties to be transferred to the bulk material and has resulted in a number of functional LCNs that are thermally-responsive and can change their shape reversibly due to the reversible LC phase transition upon temperature cycling. The incorporation of photo-responsive chromophores into LCNs allows the material to convert light energy into mechanical work because of the transformation between two geometrically different azobenzene isomers upon light irradiation. Here we demonstrate a simple route to incorporate three functional building blocks, including azobenzene chromophores, liquid crystals, and dynamic covalent bonds, together into a liquid crystalline epoxy network. The three functionalities show good compatibility and the resulting material can exhibit various photomechanical responses, dual-stimuli induced shape memory and self-healing properties, and excellent processability and recyclability.

Speaker Background

Dr. Michael R. Kessler is the Berry Family Director and Professor of the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Washington State University. As the chief academic and administrative officer for the school, he is responsible for teaching, research, and outreach in the mechanical and materials engineering programs. His research and teaching interests are in the mechanics, processing, and characterization of polymer matrix composites, nanocomposites, and bio-based polymers. Prior to joining the faculty at Washington State University, he held faculty positions at Iowa State University and the University of Tulsa. He obtained his Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His honors include Young Investigator Awards from the Army Research Office and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, an NSF CAREER award, and the Elsevier Young Composites Researcher Award from the American Society for Composites. He has published over 150 journal papers, holds six patents, edited a book on the characterization of composite materials, presented more than 100 talks at national and international meetings, and serves as a frequent reviewer and referee in his field.


Tuesday, January 19


Michael's Restaurant at Shoreline Park
2960 N. Shoreline Park
Mountain View, CA 94043



6 PM social hour
7 PM dinner
8 PM lecture


Employed/postdoc Student/unemployed/retired
Early Registration  $30 $15
Registration $35 $20
Walk-in (not guaranteed) $40 $25

Lecture-only is free.



We accept cash or checks at the door, or online payment via credit card. No-shows are responsible for full payment of registration fee.


Please register below or contact:

Nayan Ashar
phone: 408-316-1619

Deadline for registration:

11:59PM, Monday, January 11 for early registration discount.
5PM, Monday, January 18 for regular registration.

Dinner Selection:

Seafood - Broiled salmon
Chicken - Breast of chicken, Piccata
Vegetarian - Vegetable napoleon

You should receive confirmation of your registration; if not, please contact us again.

We are sorry but registration for this event is now closed.

Please contact us if you would like to know if spaces are still available.