Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Darran Cairns.


In this thesis, the movement of anisotropic liquid crystal polymer rods in dispersion fluids of silicon oils was investigated. The rods demonstrated movement by an applied external AC field. The polymer rods used were 200 nm in diameter and 60 mum in length produced using the template synthesis technique originally adopted by Shafran (2008). A reactive liquid crystal monomer was polymerized by ultraviolet light while the liquid crystal remained in the nematic temperature range. This curing permanently fixes the liquid crystal molecules, producing polymer rods independent of temperature. The rods were dispersed in silicon oils of viscosities 4.7, 9.2, and 99 cP, and injected into indium tin oxide coated glass cells.;An AC electric field was applied to the glass cells, resulting in multiple types of movement from the rods. In the silicon oil of viscosity 4.7 cP, the rod motions that were observed was spinning about a central point or large circular movements. In silicon oil of viscosity 9.2 cP, the motions that were observed was either wagging or flexing of the rods. Also, in the silicon oil of viscosity 99 cP, the motions that were observed were large circular movements and wagging. The ability of the polymer rods to respond in highly viscous dispersion fluids is technologically important for possible applications in active micromixers, morphing wings, and LC displays.