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Liquid Crystals


Liquid Crystal Devices




ELEC 2006
ELEC 3030


Optical Devices
Ghent LC Group



Computer Modelling Research Group

Computer modelling activities in the Dept. of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at UCL were started by Prof. J. Brian Davies who led this research group until his retirement in 1997. The group has been dedicated to the development of mathematical models and computer modelling techniques for electromagnetics, initially applied to microwave and optical waveguides, nonlinear optics and since 1994 also to the modelling of liquid crystal devices, which now constitute the major line of research in the group.

The current members of the group are:

  • Dr. F. Aníbal Fernández
  • Dr. Richard James (honorary research fellow)
  • Dr. Eero Willman (research fellow)
  • Dr. Lawrence Seddon (research fellow)
  • Mr Mengyang Yang (PhD student)

contact: Dr. F.A. Fernández.

Liquid Crystal Modelling

The group is dedicated to the advanced and comprehensive modelling of liquid crystal structures for displays, photonic and microwave applications. This includes modelling the switching behaviour of liquid crystals, the hydrodynamics of liquid crystals, the optical modelling of liquid crystal cells and the modelling of wave propagation through waveguiding structures containing liquid crystal materials. Current computer models and programs developed by the group are based on a Q-tensor representation of the liquid crystal orientation, including order variation and biaxiality, weak surface anchoring, flexoelectric effects and flow and permit the study of the dynamic behaviour of realistic 3D structures. Applications have included the analysis and design of LC on Silicon (LCOS) cells, for displays and communications, the dynamic study of bistable displays, and other devices where the dynamic behaviour of defects play an important role. One of the current interests is in extending these modelling capabilities further to dimensions where the current continuum theory is not adequate. This will enable us to study structures with features in the range of 10s of nm, as in LCOS cells for the future generation of displays and diffractive devices for communications (reconfigurable SLMs and holograms), reconfigurable photonic band gap structures, the design of nanostructured dielectric films and the inclusion of nanostructures in liquid crystal cells, as surface features or as suspended, moving particles.

For details on current activities, see here

Group Activities Flyer

Current Research Interests

Research Highlights over the last 5 years

Waveguide Modelling

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The group has been dedicated to the development of mathematical models and computer modelling techniques for electromagnetics since the beginning of its activities at UCL, with an emphasis on comprehensive and efficient computational methods. Research highlights in this period included the development of numerical techniques for the analysis of electromagnetic problems, including the least squares boundary residuals method and finite difference and finite element methods for the analysis of electromagnetic waveguides, the development of novel modal analysis methods and the first finite element beam propagation method. It also included the development of an efficient matrix eigenvalue solver for large, sparse systems and mesh generation techniques. These numerical methods were applied to the study of microwave structures, to optical waveguiding structures and to nonlinear optical devices.
  • Modal solution solver (link to be added)
  • Beam progation method (link to be added)

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Research Directions

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Publications of the group can be found here.



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Dr. F.A. Fernández currently teaches the following subjects:

Additional course material can be found by clicking the links above.

  • 3rd and 4th year Projects offered by Dr F.A. Fernández

  • This page last modified 20 June, 2011 by F.A. Fernández


    Current EPSRC-funded project on Liquid Crystal Applications in Microwaves
    see grant details

    Recently finished EPSRC project on Microwaves and Liquid Crystals
    see grant details


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