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Announcing the winners of the Facebook Reality Labs Liquid Crystal research awards

This past May, we launched the Facebook Reality Labs Liquid Crystal (LC) research awards with the goal of encouraging young generations in the LC field and in other cross-disciplinary fields to explore the possibilities of LC technology in the AR/VR field. In partnership with the International Liquid Crystal Society, we invited graduate students and postdocs (who have graduated in the last three years) to apply for this award.

View award page

We received applications from 14 research institutions. The submitted applications covered emerging research in the following areas: novel liquid crystal materials, fast response time liquid crystal displays, polarization holograms, Pancharatnam Berry Phase optics, polarization optics, and applications of LC technologies for improving AR/VR optics and display systems.

Taking into consideration the originality and novelty of the resulting research, along with its potential impact in the AR/VR field, we selected six extraordinary researchers from six different institutions. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit an application, and congratulations to the winners.

Research award recipients

Diamond award

Tilted chiral liquid crystal gratings for efficient large-angle diffraction
Inge Nys, Ghent University

Platinum award

Improving near-eye display resolution by polarization multiplexing; high-resolution additive light field near-eye display by switchable PBP lenses; polarization-independent PBP lens system
Tao Zhan, University of Central Florida

Augmented reality with image registration, vision correction and sunlight readability via liquid crystal devices
Yu-Jen Wang, National Chiao Tung University

Gold award

Polarizing beam splitter cube for circularly and elliptically polarized light
Sawyer Miller, University of Arizona

Reconfigurable and spatially programmable chameleon skin-like material utilizing light responsive covalent adaptable cholesteric liquid crystal elastomers
Alina Martinez, University of Colorado Boulder

Reversible circularly polarized reflection in a self-organized helical superstructure enabled by a visible-light-driven axially chiral molecular switch
Hao Wang, Kent State University

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