December 2000

Polymers and Liquid Crystals (PLC)


Polymers & Liquid Crystals is a pilot program produced by a cooperative effort between the Department of Physics and the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in conjunction with the Center for Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM) at Kent State University. A part of the ALCOM educational outreach program, this tutorial provides a basic introduction at the college freshman level to the fields of polymers, liquid crystals (LC) polymer LC and LC displays.
The Virtual Textbook contains many features that can not be found in a conventional reference. In addition to comprehensive text, 3-D animations help the user understand complex structures. Video footage from actual experiments provides valuable perspective. In the unique "virtual laboratory", the user is able to perform his or her own experiments in areas such as polymer growth, phase transformations, and crystalline optics. Full color still images and sound complement the entire program.
The Electronic Tutorial was initially created during the summers of 1994 and 1995 by undergraduate students at CWRU with the guidance of Professors Koenig and Gordon and of Dr. Cramer. This tutorial featured a "virtual textbook" and related simulations, intended for study of basic polymer and liquid crystal science.
Although the site make use of Shocwave technology, the readers which don't have this plug-in can still surf the site by using the non-Shockwave version

Additional Links

Virual text book

Liquid Crystals

Polymer Liquid Crystals
Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystals
Polymer Stabilized Liquid Crystals
Ferroelectric Liquid Crystals
Liquid Crystal Displays

Experiences at the virtual laboratory

Statistical Polymer Growth
Viscosity Measurements
Polymer Growth Lattice
Phase Changes in Liquid Crystals
Polarization Birefringence
Colors from Birefringence
Temperature Dependence of Birefringence
Characterization of Light Shutters
Design Parameters of a SSFLC Cell
Geometric Optics

The site provides also a list of related links , and a glossary of terms