What is inside your flat screen TV? If you have looked at a calculator or a mobile phone display, used a laptop or a flat screen TV you’ve made use of liquid crystals in the form of liquid crystal displays (LCDs). However, liquid crystals have a whole range of uses, from thermometers to bullet proof vests! Liquid crystals are also found in living cell membranes and even the slime in your soap dish is made of liquid crystals.

Scientists today

PhD Student
School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester


Ji-Young OhCareer path and qualifications

I studied for a BS degree in Bioorganic Chemistry at Sookmyung Women's University in South Korea.

After my degree, I worked as a researcher for a government institute using plant extracts to improve human health. I then worked for a company where I made industrial products for use in health care. After spending time in industry I was keen to study for a PhD, so I focused on finding an area which stimulated me. Most of all, I wanted to work in an area which would have applications in industrial development. I am now studying for a PhD at the University of Manchester.


What inspired you?

After getting a top award in a science competition at school in South Korea, I began to study more biology, chemistry and physics. Before the award, I had been interested in a lot of other subjects including art, music, dance and literature. After my award my curiosity changed and I was inspired to focus on science.


My project

In my project I am working on liquid crystals and in particular I'm studying the different motions of particles in the different phases of liquid crystals. This may have applications in new LCD display technologies in - eg electronic paper and electronic books.


The future

After my degree I'd like to work in research and development making new LCD displays for emerging technologies.


Outside the lab

In my spare time I like to read books and listen to classic music, and play the piano and flute.