Vance Williams, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, October 2011

Vance Williams is an Associate Professor in the Chemistry Department at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada.  Vance’s first encounter with liquid crystals came in 1992 when he joined the research group of Robert Lemieux at Queen’s University.  His Ph.D. research on induced cholesteric phases sparked his continuing fascination with the optical microscopy of liquid crystals.  His current research is aimed at elucidating the relationship between a molecule’s structure and its tendency to self-assemble into columnar LC phases. His group’s investigations primarily focus on dibenzophenazines, which constitute a versatile class of discotic mesogens that tolerate a wide range structural variation and exhibit columnar phases over broad temperature ranges.
Web page:
Further details of his research can be found at:
• E. Voisin, E. J. Foster, M. Rakotomalala, V. E. Williams, Chem. Mater. (2009), 21, 3251.
• C. Lavigueur, E. J. Foster, V. E. Williams,  J. Am. Chem. Soc.  (2008) 130, 11791.
• E. J. Foster, R. B. Jones, C. Lavigueur, V. E. Williams,  J. Am. Chem. Soc.  (2006) 128,  8569.  
ILCS picture
Columnar rectangular phase formed by hydrogen bonding discotic mesogens. The sample was viewed with a 10x objective using an Olympus BX50 polarizing optical microscope equipped with a Linkam LT5350 heating stage and photographed using a Nikon 990 Coolpix digital camera.

Jury comment: We see a competition of two textures. One abstract, golden metallic, of chiseled design. The other soft, bloomy and colorful. Which of them do we favor? Which of them will oust the other, finally?