Eric Scharrer’s expertise lies in the fields of organic chemistry, liquid crystals, materials chemistry, and organometallic chemistry. His research interests focus on the synthesis and analysis of new organic liquid crystals, which are an industrial important class of compounds used in displays for watches, cell phones, calculators, and computers. Liquid crystalline molecules have the unusual ability to drastically change the way that light interacts with the molecules when they are reoriented using an electric or magnetic field. Scharrer has researched new liquid crystalline compounds, with funding provided by the National Science Foundation. Scharrer and his students use standard organic synthesis techniques to prepare compounds and spectroscopy to structurally characterize them, and then study the liquid crystalline behavior using a polarizing microscope equipped with a heating stage and differential scanning calorimetry. Scharrer has co-written and published multiple papers for journals such as Journal of Materials Chemistry, Chemistry of Materials, and Liquid Crystals.
B.S., Bates College, 1988; Ph.D., University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 1993