Daniel Krüerke, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, February 2009

Daniel Krüerke is a scientist in clinical research at the Ita Wegman clinic in Basel, Switzerland. He studied at the Technical University of Berlin, doing his PhD in Professor G. Heppke's group working on discotic, bend shaped and smectic liquid crystals. He spent one year in Professor S. Lagerwall's group (Göteborg, Sweden) and a few month in Antal Jakli's group (LCI Kent, USA), working with ferroelectric and bend shaped LCs. For 7 years he then worked in liquid crystal R&D for the Scottish company “Forth Dimension Displays”, developing and producing ferroelectric liquid crystal over silicon microdisplays.

Currently, he designs and performs clinical studies to investigate factors that support human health and well-being, rather than factors that cause disease. High priority is given to the understanding of the interconnection of physiological rhythms, environmental rhythms and factors which may influence them in a salutogenetic way. One of his ongoing LC-research topics is to test LCs as diagnostic tools in a clinical environment.
Free surface of a chiral SmC* liquid crystal sample, held in a small metal container. The substance was initially heated into the isotropic liquid state and then very slowly cooled to room temperature, where it exhibits a chiral smectic C phase. The photo of the sample surface was taken with the liquid crystal in this state, using Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopy. The picture width corresponds to 60 micrometers in reality.

Jury comment: a very original liquid crystal picture, using a microscopy technique that is not so often employed in our field. The picture is not only beautiful, it also inspires to new research efforts on free liquid crystal surfaces...