World Leading Expert on Liquid Crystals Moves Team to University of York

A team of world-leading researchers headed by Professor John Goodby, an authority on liquid crystals, has moved to the University of York's Department of Chemistry.

Professor Goodby and his research team moved to York from the University of Hull, where he had been the Head of the Liquid Crystals and Advanced Organic Materials Group for 15 years and Head of Department for two years.

He is an authority on physico-chemical aspects of low molar mass and polymeric liquid crystals and related self-organising systems, and is Past President and Vice President of the International Liquid Crystal Society.

Liquid crystals are a phase of matter whose order is intermediate between that of a liquid and that of a crystal. They are an example of the Fourth State of Matter -- neither liquid, solid nor gas -- and their molecular orientation can be controlled with applied electric fields, most commonly used in liquid crystal displays (LCDs). A huge number of compounds are liquid crystals, including cell membrane materials, lecithin, DNA, cellulose, cholesterol esters, gangliosids, and paraffins.

Professor Goodby, 52, is Chair of the British Liquid Crystal Society, and is an advisor to the ERATO programme on nano-scale structuring in liquid crystals at Tskuba in Japan.

Educated at Hull University, under the supervision of Professor GW Gray CBE, FRS, he later worked in the University's Chemistry Department as a post-doctoral research assistant before moving to the USA, where he was employed for nine years at AT&T Bell Laboratories, initially in the device materials research department and latterly as supervisor of the Liquid Crystal Materials Research Group. He returned to Hull in 1988 as the STC-Thorn EMI Industrial Reader in Chemistry, becoming Professor of Organic Chemistry two years later.

In 1994 he was the first Amersham Senior Research Fellow of the Royal Society and two years later, he was awarded the GW Gray Medal of the British Liquid Crystal Society. In 2002, he was the Tilden Lecturer of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and in the same year he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Trinity College, Dublin.

Professor Goodby said: "It is a great pleasure to be joining York's growing Chemistry Department, and to develop its activities in Materials Chemistry further.

"In particular, there is a great opportunity to create internationally leading activities in Nanochemistry and the Fourth State of Matter here in Yorkshire.
This can only be achieved through multi-disciplinary interactions, and the University of York uniquely provides fertile ground for this to occur."

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