Monthly Dinner Meeting for Wednesday March 29, 2000



Dr. Frank W. Harris
Distinguished Professor of Polymer Science
University of Akron


As part of our effort in the NSF Center For Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM), we are developing new polymers for use in liquid crystal displays (LCDs). For example, we have prepared a novel class of organo-soluble polyimides containing twisted biphenyl structures. The polymers can be readily solution cast into colorless thin films. The rigid polymer chains align parallel to the substrate surface (in-plane orientation) during the casting process, which results in anisotropy in the film properties. The anisotropy in the refractive index, which can be controlled by structural variations, has been used in the development of compensation layers for LCDs. The films, which greatly increase the off-angle viewability, are currently being used on cockpit displays in commercial aircraft.

Considerable effort has also been devoted to developing liquid crystal alignment layers that provide high liquid crystal pretilt angles. Most of our work in this area has concentrated on polyimides containing long alkyl side chains. Thus, several series of polyimides have been prepared in which the length of the alkyl side chain and the number of alkyl side chains per repeat unit were varied. Mechanical rubbing of thin films of these materials produced alignment layers that generated liquid crystal pretilt angles of 6 to 90 degrees. In general, the pretilt angle increased as the length of the side chain increased and the number of side chains per repeat unit increased. The stability of the pretilt angles was increased by crosslinking the films. The films have been used in the construction of new -cell LCDs.

About the Speaker:
The majority of his research is aimed at the design and syntheses of polymers for specific applications. He is active in the areas of controlled-release technology, membrane science, microelectronic and optical materials, and high-performance fibers and composites. He has authored 27 patents and over 150 publications on these subjects. Dr. Harris is currently directing Akron?s efforts in the NSF Science & Technology Center on Advanced Liquid-Crystalline Optical Materials. He was one of the founders of the Controlled-Release Society and served as its first President.



Cost: $30 ($15 for unemployed/retired/students)

Social Hour: 6:00 PM
Dinner: 7:00 PM
Talk: 8:00 PM

Location: Michael's at Shoreline Park, Mountain View

From 101 take the Shoreline Boulevard Exit, turning toward the bay. Drive past the Shoreline Amphitheater and go straight ahead into Shoreline Park. After a mile or so, a sign for Michael's will direct you to turn left into the parking lot.

Address: 2960 N Shoreline Blvd.
Restaurant phone: 650-962-1014
(do not call restaurant for reservations)

Dinner Choices (please specify one):
Grilled salmon,
Breast of chicken Marsala,
Vegetarian lasagna


- Make reservations by NOON Friday March 24.
- Please provide contact information (email or phone).
- Please (Please!) provide dinner selection.
- You should receive confirmation of your registration;
if not, please try again.
- Register through the web site (preferred!),
or contact:
Hilary Lackritz
- We must ask you to be liable for the cost of
your dinner if you register and do not attend;
cancellations may be made up to the registration


Upcoming events of possible interest to
GGPF audience:


March 16, Petaluma
SPE program on Engineering Materials in Electronic Applications. George Yule of RTP Corp. and Doug Lockyer of Hyperion are speakers. RSVP to John LaFountain at 510-490-1791.


March 22-25, Santa Rosa
ACS Workshop on Chain Growth Polymerization


March 24, San Francisco
Short course on Small Particle Formation March 25, San Francisco
Short course on Particle Characterization


March 26-31, San Francisco
ACS National Meeting


March 29-31, Milpitas
Short Course
"Adhesives and Adhesion Technology"
Organizer & primary lecturer, Al Pocius, 3M

(editorial note by CPH: Dr. Pocius is a considerable expert in adhesives and is a good lecturer; this should be a good course.)


April 20, Union City, 9 AM -10 PM
local SPE annual all-day "Tech Fair" with tutorials on different subjects


April 24-28, San Francisco
Spring National MRS meeting


7th International Seminar on the Technology of
Inherently Conductive Polymers
June 5-8, 2000, Napa Valley Marriott, Napa


Monday, June 5
9 AM -6 PM, Michael's at Shoreline, Mountain View

** The GGPF Spring Symposium 2000 **
on polymer processing topics. Exact title, speakers, and details to be announced.

Look for further details in future mailings, or check the web page http://


June 5 - 8, Napa
7th International Seminar on the Technology of Inherently Conductive Polymers


- reservations are requested by
Noon, Friday March 24.

- students receive 50% discount

- preferred registration is through the
web site,

- Note that many polymer-related events are
scheduled in the area in the coming months.
See listings of events following the GGPF
dinner announcement.

We are sorry but this event is not yet open for registration.

You will be able to register starting