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

Principal Investigator: Shaw H. Chen

Assistant - Full Professor of Chemical Engineering [1981- present]
[Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1981]
Assistant Scientist, Institute of Nuclear Energy Research, Lung-Tan, Taiwan [1976-78]
National Taiwan University: B.S. Chemical Engineering [1971]; M.S. Chemistry [1973]
Chemical Engineering Department Chair [2000-2009]
Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Rochester [2007]
Scientist and Senior Scientist, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester [1987-present]

Contact Information

Room 4313 Wegmans Hall
University of Rochester
Rochester, New York 14627
Telephone: (585)275-4040/Facsimile: (585)273-1348
E-mail: shaw.chen@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 spontaneous molecular organization in glassy state with elevated transition temperatures while ensuring long-term stability against crystallization spanning decades. 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 in support of 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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. W. Zhang, S. H. Chen, J. N. Hilfiker, and M. Anthamatten, "Mesomorphic Ceramic Films Synthesized via Lyotropic Self- Assembly of Metal Oxide Nanorods Complete with Sintering." ACS Applied Nano Materials. 3, 10605-10611 (2020). View