Dick J. Broer

Polymers in action: From Painted Displays to Artificial Muscles

Philips Research Laboratories; Eindhoven University of Technology
High Tech Campus 4, 5656AE Eindhoven, Netherlands


     Polymers are ductile materials that are easy to process. Traditionally they are used as packaging and construction materials. The control over the molecular structure and the way they pack in three dimensional arrangements made them also suited as functional elements in (opto)electronics products. In order to maintain the ease of processing while controlling the morphology down to the level of tens of nanometers, we developed special processes based on self-organization and well-controlled diffusion during their formation.  This has led to unique properties, such as selective reflection of circularly polarized light, or unique products, such as paintable displays. In addition to the diffusion processes on microscopic scale, the control over the adjusted morphology also enables us to create motion in the polymers over macroscopic dimensions. A property that leads to new applications such as thin-film actuators or artificial muscles.

A few words about our speaker:

    "Dick J. Broer is part-time professor at SKT. He received his Ph.D. degree on photopolymerization of liquid crystal networks from Groningen University in 1990 with Prof. G. Challa as supervisor. He started his career as polymer chemist at Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands in 1973. He specialized in vapor phase polymerization, photopolymerization, liquid crystal polymers and optical applications of polymers. He worked at DuPont Experimental Station in 1990/1991 on third-order nonlinear optical polymers. Since 1991 he is research fellow at Philips Research where he coordinated research projects on optical recording, optical fiber coatings and display materials and is responsible for the scientific program on liquid crystals and liquid crystal polymers. He was appointed part-time professor in Polymer Technology at the department of Polymer Chemistry and Technology in 1996."

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