Oliver Willekens

After successfully defending his PhD, Oliver Willekens has left the LCP
research group to find new challenges. Nowadays you might find him
working on big data, machine learning or scientific technologies.
You can see what he's working on now on LinkedIn.

His research topics during his doctoral studies were beam-steering,
tunable lensing and blue phase liquid crystals. He made numerous simulations
of liquid crystal device physics, using Finite Element Analysis in Matlab,
Python and Lumerical FDTD. He also built several liquid crystal devices, such
as tunable beam-steering devices and demonstrated a liquid crystal type of
lens, of which the focal length could be changed purely electronically



Movies of interesting experiments

The effect of a thin layer of lead zirconate titanate, deposited over a patterned
electrode, on the electro-optic switching characteristics of a nematic liquid
crystal is impressive: switching of the director occurs even "far away" (20-30µm)
from the electrodes. This is illustrated in the video below.

"Comparison of electro-optic switching of a liquid crystal in the presence of a thin PZT layer"
by Oliver Willekens is licensed under CC BY 4.0

In the video below, a beam of white light, coming from a Xenon arc lamp, is gradually
redirected as the voltage over a wedge-like cavity filled with liquid crystal is altered.
Notice the color break-up, present mostly due to diffraction of the used grating structure.

"White light beam deflection" is licensed under CC BY 4.0

In the video below, a liquid crystal sandwiched between a patterned electrode and a
common electrode is slowly heated and cooled down. This liquid crystal exhibits
blue phases, such that for certain temperature intervals platelets with vivid colors
appear. These colors find their origin in the Bragg reflection.

"Heat cycling a blue phase liquid crystal" by Oliver Willekens is licensed under CC BY 4.0


Conference XXth conference on liquid crystals 14th Faculty of Engineering PhD Symposium FEA Research Symposium 2015
Location Mikołajki, Poland Ghent, Belgium Ghent, Belgium
Date 2013-09-19 2013-12-06 2015-12-09

These posters can also be found in the list of Oliver's publications in the ELIS Database, along with other publications.

Documentation (not for publications)

Links to non-NDA parts of his research related activities (not necessarily open to all):

  • public: a scrapbook of some random thoughts, which are usually the result of investigating
    something to perform better research (e.g. good colormap usage, automation...)
  • cleanroom: some procedures (in detail) linked to by this website that should be read
    before operating the corresponding machinery/tooling in our cleanroom
  • research notes: everything that's here is the result from working on some project and
    wanting to explain more about it as a form of future reference. Does not include industry
    projects, which have their own (private and password protected) links.
  • orders: an extensive list of all the items our group has ordered over the past years at
    one firm. This serves as part of a legacy for those that take over the role of "order manager" in the future.

Oliver Willekens
Dr. ir. Oliver Willekens

Ghent University
Department of Electronics and Information Systems
Tech Lane Ghent Science Park, Campus A, 15, "iGent"
9052 Zwijnaarde, Belgium
Phone: +32 9 264.66.60
e-mail: Oliver.Willekens@ugent.be