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Rideal Travel Bursary recipient, Peicheng Xu, reports from UK Colloids 2017

Peicheng Xu

12 Sep 2017

Peicheng Xu was awarded a Rideal Travel Bursary to attend this year’s 10th Liquid Matter Conference in Slovenia. Here he tells us how attending the conference enhanced his networking opportunities.

‘I attended the 10th Liquid Matter Conference held in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 17 to 21 July 2017, with the support from SCI-RSC Rideal Trust. This is the best conference I have ever been to.

‘I presented my current work on nacre-mimetic novel materials during the poster session. My results on liquid crystalline behaviour of clay particles attracted a lot of attention because very few people have ever successfully obtained liquid crystals by using clay colloids without aggregation. When presenting my poster, I had the great opportunity of gaining advice from other researchers, including experts working in this area. Furthermore, by looking at other people’s posters, I obtained a lot of inspiration which may be important to my future research. A lot of guest speakers were invited to give presentations, including Professor Igor Musevic, who gave a talk about how to use nematic colloidal crystals to obtain topological soft materials. However, I found Professor Francesco Sciortino’s talk the most interesting because he discussed the competing interactions to suppress phase separation, which is extremely important to my colloidal system.

‘In addition, it should be noted that the conference was very well organised and the format was just right. Each day, participants were given enough free time to speak to experts in their field, have discussions with new friends and build up new collaborations between different research groups. Meanwhile, by explaining my research to other people, I also gained a better understanding of my own work. In this way, other researchers could point out the problems I might or would encounter in the future. Moreover, the lectures and seminars were all interesting and useful. From not only the fantastic results presented, but also the beautiful fundamental science, I furthered my understanding in order to be able to improve my own work.

‘Finally, again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank SCI-RSC Rideal Trust for the conference grant to make all these benefits happen.’

Peicheng Xu
PhD Student
University of Cambridge

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