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Shaw H. Chen

  • Professor of Chemical Engineering
  • Director, Center of Advanced Materials for Photonics and Lasers

PhD, University of Minnesota, 1981

Office Location
4313 Wegmans Hall
(585) 275-4040
(585) 273-1348
Web Address

Selected Honors & Awards

Department Chair (2000-2009)
Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Rochester (2007)
Weissberger-Williams Lectureship, Eastman Kodak Company (2001)
Clarence Karcher Lectureship, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (1996)
Bridging Fellowship for Faculty Research, University of Rochester (1987)

Recent Publications

Zhang, W.; Cheng, X.; Chen, S.H.; Anthamatten, M., "Spontaneous Co-Assembly of Cellulose Nanocrystals and TiO2 Nanorods Followed by Calcination to Form Cholesteric Inorganic Nanostructures," Langmuir, 2023, DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.3c00981

Cheng, X.; Chen, S.H.; Anthamatten, M., "Mesomorphic Ceramic Film Fabricated via Blade Coating of a Lyotropic Nematic Liquid Crystal for High-Power Lasers," Applied Nano Materials, 2022, 5, 5, 7562-7570. DOI:

Zhang, W.; Chen, S.H.; Hilfiker, J.; Anthamatten, M.,“Mesomorphic Ceramic Films Synthesized via Lyotropic Self-Assembly Complete with Sintering,” ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2020, 3, 11, 10605-10611.  DOI:10.1021/acsanm.0c01668

Ou, J.J.; Chen, S.H., "Simulation of Circular Dichroism by Chromophores Coupled with Selective Reflection by Cholesteric Stacks," J. Phys. Chem. B.,2020, 124, 679-683.

Wallace, J.U.; Shestopalov, A.; Kosc, T.Z.; Chen, S.H., "Scalable Synthesis of Cholesteric Glassy Liquid Crystals," Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2018, 57, 4470-4473.

Marshall, K.L.; Saulnier, D.J.; Kosc, T.Z.; Didovets, O.; Chen, S.H., "Optically Robust Photoalignment Materials for Liquid Crystal Device Applications in the Near-UV Regions," SPIE Optics and Photonics, San Diego, CA.,2017.

Anthamatten, M.; Weinfield, J.; Ou, J.J.; Chen,S.H., “Enthalpy versus Entropy: What Drives Hard-Particle Ordering in Condensed Phases?” Chem. Phys. Lett., 2016,  660, 18-21.

Chen, H.M.P.;  Ou, J.J.; Chen, S.H.,“Glassy Liquid Crystals as Self-Organized Solid Films for Robust Optoelectronic Devices.” Nanoscience with Liquid Crystals: from Self-Organized Nanostructures to Applications,”  Ed. Q. Li, Springer: Switzerland, 2014,  179-208.

Wang, Q.; Wallace, J.U.; Lee, T.Y-H.; Zeng, L.; Ou, J.J.; Chen, S.H., "Charge Carrier Mobility through Vacuum-Sublimed Glassy Films of s-Triazine and Carbozole-Based Bipolar Hybrid and Unipolar Compounds," Org. Electron., 2013, 14, 2925-2931.

Lee, T.Y-H.; Wang, Q.; Wallace, J.U.; Chen, S.H., "Temporal Stability of Blue Phosphorescent Organic Light-Emitting Diodes Affected by Thermal Annealing of Emitting Layers," J. Mater. Chem., 2012, 22, 23175-23180.

Research Overview

Following traditional chemical engineering programs in the early 1980's through the early 1990's, organic optoelectronic materials have constituted the core of our research thereafter 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.

Research Interests

  • Glassy Liquid Crystals
  • Robust Photoalignment Polymers
  • Organic Semiconductors
  • Self-Organization of Nanoparticles
  • Optoelectronic Devices