skip to content

Two and half liquid crystal motors

Tuesday 30th April 2013 - 15:00 to 16:00
INI Seminar Room 1
I describe the theory for two LC-based motors for directly converting light and heat to electrical work. Underpinning these new photo-voltaic strategies is the reduction in LC order by light via photo-isomerisation of dye-rods.

The first motor rests on optically reducing the dielectric susceptibility, the second on reducing the ferro-electric polarisation. Non-linear absorption determines the dynamics by bleaching front propagation.

Motor 3 is an optical-to-mechanical converter, relying on a photo-mechanical force cycle or turbine. It is still work in progress and I only sketch the basic ideas.

In all cases the fundamental efficiency limits (Carnot?) still require evaluation, but it is possible to calculate the efficiencies of the motors as designed. They depend on material parameters, once geometry is optimised. In motors 1 and 2, they could range from about 2 - 7% for existing materials.

The video for this talk should appear here if JavaScript is enabled.
If it doesn't, something may have gone wrong with our embedded player.
We'll get it fixed as soon as possible.
Presentation Material: 
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons