Optoelectronic Materials Laboratory
Advanced Materials for Photonics and Lasers
Department of Chemical Engineering

Principal Investigator

Shaw H. Chen (Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1981)
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Chemical Engineering Chair (2000-2009)
Senior Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics
University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Contact Information

Room 4313 Wegmans Hall
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York 14627
Telephone: (585)275-4040/Facsimile: (585)273-1348
E-mail: schen@ur.rochester.edu

Research Expertise

Glassy Liquid Crystals, Mesomorphic Ceramics, Robust Photoalignment Polymers, Organic Semiconductors, Self-Organization of Nanoparticles, Optoelectronic Devices.

Research Summary

Following traditional chemical engineering programs in the early 1980s through the early 1990s, organic optoelectronic materials have constituted the core of our research encompassing molecular design, computational chemistry, materials synthesis and processing, and optoelectronic device applications. In particular, we have developed liquid crystals, including monodisperse conjugated systems, capable of preserving molecular order in glassy state with elevated transition temperatures while ensuring long-term stability against crystallization. Various device concepts have been demonstrated using selected materials, e.g. nonabsorbing polarizers, notch filters and reflectors, polarized electroluminescence, field-effect transistors, solid-state lasers, and robust photoalignment films for orienting both fluid and glassy liquid crystals. Current activities include: (1) cholesteric glassy liquid crystals as circular polarizers for a novel night-vision technology; (2) mesomorphic ceramic films for polarization control of powerful lasers; (3) geometric surfactancy as a new concept beyond traditional amphiphilicity; and (4) sustainable synthesis and processing of advanced optical materials.


  1. T. Y.-H. Lee, Q. Wang, J. U. Wallace, and S. H. Chen,"Temporal Stability of Blue Phosphorescent Organic Light-Emitting Diodes Affected by Thermal Annealing of Emitting Layers," J. Mater. Chem. 22, 23175-23180 (2012). View
  2. Q. Wang, J. U. Wallace, T. Y.-H. Lee , L. Zeng, J. J. Ou, and S. H. Chen, "Charge Carrier Mobility through Vacuum-Sublimed Glassy Films of s-Triazine- and Carbazole-Based Bipolar Hybrid and Unipolar Compounds," Org. Electron. 14, 2925-2931 (2013). View
  3. H. M. P. Chen, J. J. Ou, and S. H. Chen, "Glassy Liquid Crystals as Self-Organized Solid Films for Robust Optoelectronic Devices." Nanoscience with Liquid Crystals: from Self-Organized Nanostructures to Applications, pp 179-208, Ed. Q. Li, Springer: Switzerland, 2014. View
  4. M. Anthamatten, J. J. Ou, J. Weinfield, and S. H. Chen, "Enthalpy versus Entropy: What Drives Hard-Particle Ordering in Condensed Phases?" Chem. Phys. Lett. 660, 18-21 (2016). View
  5. J. U. Wallace, A. Shestopalov, T. Kosc, and S. H. Chen, "Scalable Synthesis of Cholesteric Glassy Liquid Crystals." Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 58, 4470-4473(2018). View
  6. J. J. Ou, and S. H. Chen, "Simulation of Circular Dichroism by Chromophores Coupled with Selective Reflection by Cholesteric Stacks," J. Phys. Chem. B. 124, 679-683 (2020). View