Sven T. Lagerwall

Sven T. Lagerwall
Dept. of Microelectronics & Nanoscience
School of Physics and Engineering Physics
Chalmers University of Technology



Sven Torbjörn Lagerwall received his M.Sc. from Chalmers in 1958, then continued with graduate studies at Hahn-Meitner Institute for Nuclear Research in Berlin-Wannsee, ending with a Ph.D. from Technische Universität in Berlin in 1964. Since 1966 he is on the faculty at Chalmers, since 1986 as professor of physics. Since 2001 he is professor emeritus. He has held visiting positions at University of California, Berkeley, in 1971, University of Paris 1973-74 and University of Colorado in 1981-82.

In 1974-75 he set up the research activity in liquid crystals at Chalmers. This was the first activity dedicated to this field in Sweden since the work of the Uppsala theoretical physicist C. W. Oseen between 1920 and 1933. Research in the Lagerwall group has been devoted in particular to the study of dislocations and disclinations in smectics (with R. B. Meyer and B. Stebler), to hydrodynamics and later to polar effects in liquid crystals (ferroelectricity, para-, piezo-, pyro- and flexoelectricity).

The production of the Chalmers liquid crystal group through the years encompasses some 300 publications in refereed journals as well as numerous registered patents. The most famous work is the realization of surface stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystals (SSFLC), made at Chalmers in the summer of 1979 and published in Applied Physics Letters 1980 (with far more than 1000 references in Citation Index). This was a joint work with Noel A. Clark, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA.

In recent years professor Lagerwall's interest also turned to antiferroelectric liquid crystals and, in a series of papers 1997 - 1999 together with P. Rudquist, J. Maclennan and N. A. Clark, he revealed the true nature of the so-called 'thresholdless antiferroelectrics'. He is now focusing on orthoconic antiferroelectrics, a new class of liquid crystals which he has introduced, together with P. Rudquist and K. D'havé in the two last years.

Selected publications

Collaborators at Chalmers

More information on Liquid Crystals

Three small sites on liquid crystals on a popular level constructed by J. Lagerwall:


Last updated: June 28th, 2002