Eindhoven University of Technology

ESR 8 – Electrically driven liquid crystal actuator


Eindhoven University of Technology is a young university, founded in 1956 by industry, local government and academia. Today, their spirit of collaboration is still at the heart of the university community. We foster an open culture where everyone feels free to exchange ideas and take initiatives.


The department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry aspires to be an academic institution for education and research in chemical science and engineering of the highest international standard. The aim is to generate and to develop technology and scientific knowledge relevant for the long-term needs of society.

Scientific curiosity and the use of newly generated knowledge are the main driving forces behind the continuing enhancement of the chosen fields of expertise.


Eindhoven is a municipality and a city located in the Netherlands. The city has a surface of 88,84 km² and a population of over 231.000, making it the largest city of the south. Eindhoven is centrally located in Europe and easily accessible via Eindhoven Airport (or three other airports within 1,5 hour drive).

Eindhoven is bursting with energy. And we are glad to share it with you. When you google innovation, it is no coincidence that the first images you find are light bulbs. Over 125 years ago, Philips brought light to Eindhoven. The company transformed the city into a vibrant industrial success story. Nowadays, Eindhoven is a bustling city in transition, with a constant flow of new developments in the fields of creativity, innovation, technology, design, and knowledge.




Danqing Liu (TU/e)




Carlos Sánchez Somolinos (CSIC)



Contact email address of the supervisor: d.liu1@tue.nl

Research project

In this project, we will develop three dimensional constructs made of liquid crystal elastomer provided with integrated patterned electrodes. The electrodes will provide localized electrical field of desired strength and frequency to generate anisotropic volume either by temperature or by resonance free volume and will result in controlled deformation figures that can perform pre-set tasks such as lifting, adhesion or release.


The results will the first steps to fully functional electrically driven soft robots which can be integrated with transistor controlled local powering to perform very complex, and multi-directional robotic functions, e.g. to perform in-vivo medical treatments.  .


The selected ESR will be hired by TU/e and will develop her/his activity at the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry performing secondments at SSSA (DeSimone), CSIC (Sánchez-Somolinos) and Holst Institute (TNO, Kjellander/Zalar) and company SABIC (Gelebart)

PhD programme – University: Programme in Chemical Engineering, TU/e


Candidate’s profile: 

Background in chemical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, electric engineering, materials science or bioengineering.

Prior knowledge in soft matter, responsive materials and experience in microscopic techniques and device fabrication/ characterization are appreciated.

Ability to independently work within a dynamic team and multidisciplinary research environment.

Fluent in spoken and written English


Specific requirements for the enrolment in the PhD Programme: https://www.tue.nl/en/our-university/about-the-university/support-services/general-affairs/office-of-doctoral-presentations-and-academic-ceremonies/phd-defenses/doctorate-regulations-2020/