University researcher receives grant from U.S. Air Force to fund development of new "liquid crystals"

Guido Verbeck
Assistant professor of chemistry.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Category:

Video screens of the future could be thinner and more flexible, thanks to research from a University of North Texas assistant professor of chemistry.

Guido Verbeck is one of 29 scientists and engineers from across the United States to receive a three year, $300,000 grant through the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program.

Verbeck will use the grant to develop new ways to use preparative mass spectrometry instrumentation for nanofabrication and the development of new materials.

"Mass spectrometry is usually used as an analytical technique, but in my research we are using it to prepare and develop new materials," he says.

This research can be used to develop what is known as smectic material or a type of "liquid crystals," he says.

"Using this spectrometry process, we can isolate a single polymer within a distribution," Verbeck says. "The new smectic materials can then be used to make lighter, thinner and more flexible video monitors."

Verbeck says the technology he is studying can be applied to other uses.

"It can be used to develop new thin coatings on materials; we can use the mass spectrometry source as the chemistry. It can also be used in conjunction with ion-molecule chemistry to develop new catalysts, ceramics and in environmental remediation," he says.

He adds that the technology can be used as a combing, or filtering, technique without having to do the bench chemistry.

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