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Chirality at the Nanoscale

June 04, 2015 – June 05, 2015


Kent State University, Kent, Ohio


Torsten, Hegmann 
Kent State University

Anta Jak

Registration Form
To register for this event, please complete the registration for here: Chirality at the Nanoscale Registration Form

Event Flyer
Chirality at the Nanoscale



Keynote Speaker

Thomas Bürgi – University of Geneva (Switzerland)
“Chirality of nanoscale gold particles and dusters”

Invited Speakers

Alexander Govorov – Ohio University (USA)

Randal Kamien - University of Pennsylvania (USA)
“Which way do molecules twist”

Nicholas Kotov - University of Michigan (USA)

Oleg Lavrentovich - Kent State University (USA)

Peter Palffy-Muhoray - Kent State University (USA)

Epifanio Virga - University of Pava (Italy)

David M Walba - University of Colorado at Boulder
“The helical nanofilament phase as a host for creation of aligned, nanostructured composites”


Robert L. Whetten (University of Texas at San Antonio (USA)



The workshop “Chirality at the Nanoscale” will for the first time bring researchers from two fields together that explore the unique optical activity (chirality) of either metal and semiconductor nanomaterials or soft condensed matter such as liquid crystals. Research at the interface between liquid crystal and nanomaterials is considered one of the new frontiers, and has produced new chemistry, physics, and devices as well as prototypes for metamaterials. A significant amount of new effects not reported thus far is expected if this interface includes chirality. Metal nanoparticles, or their atomic surfaces, can exhibit chirality by virtue of optical activity in metal-based electronic transitions. This chirality can be realized either by adsorption of chiral organic molecules or by assembly of otherwise achiral or racemic nanoparticles in chiral environments. Transfer of chirality from an adsorbed molecule to a metal nanoparticle surface depends on the structure of the adsorbate and its interactions with the surrounding, but is often difficult to elucidate, and thus the key focus of the proposed workshop. Major breakthroughs in understanding and application of nanoscale chirality are likely if we can detect, visualize, and transfer nanoscale chirality to soft matter. Liquid crystals are soft, ordered materials with unrivaled opportunities for both fundamental and experimental studies on nanoscale chirality. Liquid crystals are exceptionally materials for asymmetry amplification at different length scales. Future advances in areas such as nanoscale chiral sensors, chiral nanomaterial catalysts, chiral metamaterials for transformation optics, etc. can only be effectively realized if the two research communities are provided with a forum to interact, discuss, educate one another, and start working together. Chirality is perhaps one of the most important concepts in our life (DNA, proteins, etc.) and has certainly contributed to a plethora of structures and new properties, effects and devices in the field of liquid crystals (ferroelectricty, flexoelectricity, selective reflection, and many more). New structures such as the helical nanofilament phase and the twist bend phase are based on ambidextrous helical or helicoidal structures, which will provide new playgrounds for nanomaterials in the near future. To explore these types of questions and materials combinations, the workshop will bring together experts from each field, chiral nanomaterials and chiral liquid crystals, to meet (in many instances for the first time), exchange ideas, and educate both established and young researchers of each community as well as the public (since several sessions will be broadcasted over the internet). This event will also be held at the 50-year anniversary of the Liquid Crystal Institute at KSU (1965 – 2015) and will be considered a perfect start of this 50 year celebration.

Thrust Area

Biological Matter


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