Introduction
Liquid Crystal Research Laboratory (LCRL) inaugurated by our beloved Chairman Sri S V Balasubramaniam in the year 2004. LCRL  is a premier research laboratory that caters the academic needs in the field of thermotropic liquid crystals. The primary aim of LCRL is to carry out funded research projects, train manpower establishes the state-of-art instrumentation required to carry out research in the frontier areas of thermotropic liquid crystals. LCRL also envisages in the dissemination of knowledge through organizing sponsored national conferences,/seminars periodically. LCRL publishes in international peered reviewed journals and files national patents.

  1. Sponsored research

LCRL is fully equipped to undertake sponsored research from government funding agencies. Various research sponsored projects are sanctioned by government funding agencies like AICTE, BRNS-DAE, DRDO, DST, and SERB. The details are given below:

1.1   DRDO: Two funded projects from DRDO are sanctioned to LCRL. The first one is sanctioned in the year 2004 for Rs 12.13 lakhs and the duration was for three years (2004-2007). The main aim of the project was to design and isolate the new type of liquid crystals. The second DRDO project was sanctioned for Rs 4 lakhs and was executed between 2008 to 2009.

1.2   AICTE:  This project dealt with W shaped liquid crystals and the sanctioned amount was Rs 20 lakhs, the project period was 2006-2009.

1.3   DST: Ferroelectric liquid crystals (FLC) are extensively used in device technology. To understand FLC, DST sanctioned an amount of Rs 18 lakhs to LCRL during 2007-2010.

1.4   BRNS-DAE: Nanotechnology is fast spreading its wings to other branches. Liquid crystal with nanomaterials is investigated in this project. The budget is Rs 12 lakhs and the duration of three years is from 2012-2015.

1.5   SERB: An amount of Rs 22 lakhs was sanctioned through this project to understand the various applicational aspects of liquid crystals. The project was sanctioned in 2019 and is currently ongoing.

2. Training of manpower

A good number of liquid crystal scientists have been trained by LCRL. The scholars trained are listed below:

1)      Dr T Chitravel

2)      Dr V N Vijayakumar

3)      Dr K Murugadass

4)      Dr N Pongali Sathya Prabu

5)      Dr C Kavitha

6)      Dr G Sanagameswari

7)      Dr A J Gopunath

8)      Dr P  Subha Priya

9)      Dr G Chandrasekar

10)  Dr K Sankaranarayan

11)  Dr R Rajanandkumar

3. Publications

LCRL scientists publish in international journals of high repute. More than 113 journal publications are listed in the institutional research repository. The below link details the description of each of the article

https://bitsathy.ac.in/research/repository/details.php?id=Mjk1Nzg1NQ==

4. Patents

LCRL scientists file patents on the topics covering the frontier areas of thermotropic liquid crystals. A total number of 12 Indian patents were filed while three were published as on 29th July 2020. The list of patents and their details re appended in the following link

https://bitsathy.ac.in/staff/details/?staffid=0ff601c63db95890d780d25993431ccc&did=MzA1OTg1&snm=ZHIgbGFrc2htaSBuYXJheWFuYSBtIG1vaGFu

5. Instrumentation

LCRL is equipped with the latest state of the art instruments which include a Nikon polarizing microscope (E600POL) with CCD system (DS-U1) and imaging software (NIS) for identifying and analyzing various textures exhibited by LC. The electrical characterization is accomplished by Agilent 4192A and Wayne Keer 6500B impedance analyzers which can sweep from 5 Hz to 13 MHz. Further, a GwInstek digital storage oscilloscope(GDS 2302A)  and Keitheys six and a half digital meter (2100) helps in recording the spontaneous polarization and switching times response. The temperature of the LC is maintained by an Instec standalone temperature controller (STC 200 and mK2000) coupled with the Instec hot and cold stage (HCS 402)  to an accuracy of 0.1oC. Various other measurements such as refractive index (Abbe refractometer, GD120)) transition temperatures and enthalpy values (Shimadzu DSC-60) electrical studies (Tektronix AFG 3021B) can also be performed. The study of LC characters by doping MWCNT/SWCNT  is done by ultra-sonicating technique (Sonics Vibracell). Other instruments include a Shimadzu single pan balance (AY220), Bomem FTIR (MB3000), and HPIB module (NI 763507).

More details of Liquid Crystal Research Laboratory LCRL can be found on the following youtube link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOchDtW7Aj0

6. Conclusion

Liquid Crystal Research Laboratory details are discussed. Manpower trained, publications achieved and patents filed are also deliberated