(Featured image: A liquid crystal sheet detects differences in temperature. Courtesy of NISE Network.)
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (UW MRSEC) are investigating how the unique properties of liquid crystals allow them to act as environmental sensors, detecting toxins in the environment. In this video, we give a brief overview of what liquid crystals are and how their properties can be utilized to improve the world, creating a safer workforce and protecting food quality. The video features a demonstration of how liquid crystal sensors work, introducing Sharpie markers to a prepared sensor. It also includes interviews with two scientists responsible for developing the liquid crystal sensors, Marco Bedolla and UW MRSEC Center Director Nicholas Abbott.