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Department of Physics News

Global Technology Leader to Visit Kent State to Discuss Liquid Crystal Research

Posted May. 19, 2011

Samsung Electronics Corporation is a leader in the global market of high-tech electronics manufacturing and digital media, and the largest producer of liquid crystal displays in the world. On Friday, May 20, Dr. Sung Tae Shin, senior vice president of Samsung’s LCD Center in South Korea, will visit Kent State University on to discuss the university’s groundbreaking research involving new applications for liquid crystal display technologies.

Shin, who received his Ph.D. from Kent State in 1994, will meet with Oleg Lavrentovich, director of Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute, and other faculty members to review progress on the two university research grant projects funded by Samsung.

The current Samsung-sponsored research conducted at Kent State deals with two main themes: New liquid crystalline materials for display applications, and the search for the new techniques of surface alignment of liquid crystals. Without uniform alignment, the LCD panels are not able to display images.

The second project is lead by Kent State’s Ohio research scholar and professor of chemical physics Hiroshi Yokoyama, who develops new approaches to uniform alignment of liquid crystals at the walls of the display panels. “The goal of our research is to establish a conceptual breakthrough to bring Samsung's LCDs to a new competitive edge,” Yokoyama said.

Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute is the most comprehensive research and educational center in the field of liquid crystals. In 2003, Kent State and Samsung established an ongoing collaboration on various aspects of liquid crystal technology.

“Samsung has been a wonderful partner with Kent State in exploring new technologies and supporting important new research,” Lavrentovich said.

The field of liquid crystal display technology has exploded in recent years, with strong demand around the world for flat panel TVs, cell phones, computer monitors and new devices such as the iPad. “It is not widely known that Kent State was the birthplace of the technology that makes these products possible,” said Lavrentovich. “Research performed at the Liquid Crystal Institute and similar centers around the world led to the establishment of this $150 billion industry.”

Shin will meet with Kent State faculty involved in the Samsung-supported projects, including Yokoyama, physics professor David Allender and Satyendra Kumar, associate vice president for research and sponsored programs. Kumar was Shin’s advisor when he was a graduate student at Kent State.

“Of course, while Dr. Shin is on campus we will also take the opportunity to present themes for future cooperative research with Samsung,” Lavrentovich added.

For more information on Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute, visit

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Media Contacts:
Oleg Lavrentovich,, 330-672-4844
Bob Burford,, 330-672-8516