Ingo Dierking, featured ILCC liquid crystal artist, February 2014

Ingo Dierking is Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Liquid Crystal Physics Group at the School of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. Our group works on a wealth of topics in soft matter, liquid crystals and liquid crystal related materials, from fundamental research to problems in application. My current personal fields of interest are (1) polymer stabilized liquid crystals (nematics for THz devices, cholesterics for broad photonic effects, ferroelectric liquid crystals, and frustrated phases), (2) liquid crystal-nanoparticle dispersions (single micro-particles in LCs under applied electric fields, nanotubes and functional nanoparticles in different LC phases), (3) Blue Phases and Twist Grain Boundary Phases and methods for their stabilisation, and (4) the dynamics of defect formation and annihilation.

Ingo Dierking is the current chairman of the British Liquid Crystal Society, Editor of Liquid Crystals Today, and a member of the board on several journals related to soft matter.

contact: ingo.dierking [at]
ingo_dierking [at]

web page:
This is not directly a liquid crystal texture, but rather that of a polymer network formed within a nematic liquid crystal with strength s=+1 and s=-1 topological defects. One can nicely see two spots where the local order vanishes. Originating from these spots are the templated director fields of the nematic defects, the radial distribution around the s=+1 (right) and the four fold hyperbolic distribution of the s=-1 defect (left). Polymer stabilized liquid crystals can thus be used to image liquid crystal director fields and their defects contained. The image was taken by Scanning Electron Microscopy (Zeiss EVO60) with a width of approximately 50 micrometers. The liquid crystal employed was the common E7 mixture (Merck), and the polymer network was formed for a weight concentration of 5% of standard RM257 (Merck). The picture was taken in collaboration with Dr Paul Archer.

Jury comment: Another way to see the defect!