Professor Cliff Jones


Nothing is more rewarding than having a novel idea, researching and discovering everything there is to know about it, and then applying that idea to something that is of use. I've been fortunate to do that a few times in my career, working with large corporations such as QinetiQ and Sharp, and also in a successful spinout company I founded, called ZBD Displays (now Displaydata). I've joined academia from industry to begin the process again, and explore some basic physics with the aim of creating new commercial innovations.

Recently, I have co-founded my second company, called Dynamic Vision Systems. This combines liquid crystals with printed electronics to produce switchable contact lenses; important for curing presbyopia, the age related deterioration of the eye that everyone suffers over the age of 50. 


  • Physics Impact Champion

Research interests


My main research interests are in the field of liquid crystals, the rich and diverse set of phases that can occur for anisotropic molecules or particles between the disordered fluid and fully ordered crystal solids. In particular, I am interested in the effects of confinement and polarity in liquid crystals. For example, the zenithal bistable device (ZBD) uses deep-nanoscale surface features to induce defects and flexo-electric polarisation in nematic liquid crystals to produce low voltage bistable liquid crystal displays and spatial light modulators. I am currently studying the effect of such photonic surfaces with other liquid crystal phases and colloidal systems, including Janus particles and other nano-particle suspensions, as part of an EPSRC Advanced Fellowship of Manufacturing.

My experience of taking invention from idea through to a successful product is currently being used in our group's work on switchable contact lenses. This project requires novel manufacturing methods, modulator design and integrated electronics to allow the lenses to switch whilst powered either wirelessly or with a tiny on-board charge source.

Areas abundant in new physics include novel phase structures in self-assembling materials, nano-replication methods and the interaction of soft matter with controllable surfaces, electro-wetting and electrophoretic phenomena, flexo- and ferro-electric switching effects. The array of novel fabrication and characterisation tools available to our group allows us to bridge the gap between fundamental science and innovative devices.

Qualifications and awards 

2017       Katherine Burr-Blodgett, Gold Medal and Award; IOP
2015       George Gray Medal; BLCS
2012       Innovation Award; On behalf of ZBD Displays Ltd. IOP
2007       Cyril Hilsum Medal; BLCS
2005       Entrepreneur of the Year, UK Central Science and Technology; Ernst and Young
2000       Charles Vernon Boys Medal and Prize; IOP
1994       Young Scientist Award; BLCS
1992       Ben Sturgeon Award; Society for Information Display

Granted Patent Families

65    J.C. Jones, H.F. Gleeson, P. Morgan (2016) “System for addressing switchable contact lenses” 17th December 2016.
64    H. Milton, S. Kaur, J.C. Jones, H.F. Gleeson, P. Morgan, J. Clamp (2015) “Liquid Crystal Contact Lens And Method Of Manufacture”, US 2016/0170097 A1
63    G.P. Bryan-Brown, D.Walker and J.C. Jones (2008) “Selective Adhesion” US2011/ 0104389 A1
62    D. Dix, S. Gooch, J.C. Jones, C. Mayne, S. Taylor and R. Simms (2008) “Display System” US 2010/0106588 A1
61    J.C. Jones (2005) “Addressing Multistable Nematic Liquid Crystal Devices” 5th May 2005. US 7245282.
60    M. Francis, M. Goulding, J.C. Jones, S. M. Beldon and P. Kirsch (2004) “Liquid Crysal Composition for Bistable Liquid Crystal Devices”, 24th February 2004. US 7670502 B1
59    R.M. Amos, G. P Bryan-Brown, E.L. Wood, J.C. Jones (2003) “Photopolymer”,  US 10531302
58    M. Goulding, M. Francis, J.C. Jones and S. Beldon, (2003) “Liquid Crystal Composition for use in bistable liquid crystal devices”, EP 1 620 527 B1.
57    J.C. Jones (2003) “Discontinuous grating aligned device,” 17th January 2003. US 7,884,905 B2.
56    J.C. Jones (2003) “Discontinuous grating aligned device,” 17th January 2003. US 8,199,295,B2
55    J.C. Jones and S. M. Beldon (2002) “Liquid Crystal Devices with Greyscale”,  4th July 2002. US 7,692,672 B2
54    J.C. Jones and E L Wood (2002) “Patterned Light Modulating Device”, 4th July 2002. US 7,551,258 B2.
53    J.C. Jones (2002) “Liquid crystal device with bistable or multistable alignment gratings”, 29th May 2002. US 7,956,980
52    M. Francis, M. Goulding, J.C. Jones and S. M. Beldon (2002) “Liquid Crystal Mixture Composition”, EP 02027739.8
51    M. Francis, M. Goulding, J.C. Jones and S. M. Beldon (2002) “Fast Switching Liquid Crysal Compositions for use in Bistable Liquid Crystal Devices”, EP 02027744.8  WO /2004/053020 A1 US 6115603
50    R.M. Amos, G. P. Bryan-Brown, E. L. Wood, J.C. Jones and P. T. Worthing, “Embossing method and apparatus,” 13th May 2002. US 7,824,516, B2
49    J.C. Jones (2002) “Addressing method for bistable liquid crystal devices – multiscan”,  29th May 2002. EP 1512138
48    J.C. Jones (2001) “Bistable liquid crystal device operating in two modes”. 20th June 2001. US 7,019,795.
47    R.J. Miller and J.C. Jones (2000) “Bistable Optically Addressed Spatial Light Modulator”, 15th July 2000.  US 7,006,165.
46    J.C. Jones (2000) “Addressing multi-stable nematic liquid crystal devices” 6th September 2000. US 7, 068,250
45    E.L. Wood, V.C. Hui, G. P. Bryan-Brown, C.V. Brown and J.C. Jones, (2000) “Multi-stable nematic liquid crystal device” 20th July 2000. US 7,053,975.
44    M. Friedman, K.J. Toyne, M. Hird, J. W. Goodby and J.C. Jones (1999) “Novel Liquid Crystal Compounds” GB 199900022179. WO121606 A1, 21st September 1999.
43    J.C. Jones, (1999) "Bistable Nematic Liquid Crystal Device", 30th  November 1999. WO 140853 A1.  EP 1234207
42    R.P. Tuffin, A.J. Slaney, J.C. Jones and M. Koden (1999) 14th April 1999. US 6,436, 312.
41    J.C. Jones, I. C. Sage, J.W. Goodby, M. Hird, R.A. Lewis, and K.J. Toyne,  (1999), “High Transverse dipole moment aryl compounds”, 14th April 1999. US 6,391,397
40    J.R. Hughes, J.C. Jones, G.P. Bryan-Brown and A. Graham (1999) “Addressing bistable Nematic Displays”, 3rd March 1999. US 6,784,968. EP 115 7371.
39    J.C. Jones and A.G. Graham (1998) “Light Modulating Devices (MADDER)”, British Patent Application 9809200.0, 29th April 1998. Granted as US 6,417,864.
38    J.C. Jones and J.R. Hughes (1998) “Addressing method and apparatus”, 29 August 1998. US 6,351,256
37    J.W. Goodby, K.J. Toyne, R.A. Lewis, M. Hird, A.J. Slaney and J.C. Jones (1998), “2,6-Quinolines”, 17th July 98, GB 2 339 779 A
36    J.C. Jones, A.J. Slaney, M. Hird, M.E. Glendenning, J.W. Goodby, K.J. Toyne, and R.A. Lewis (1998) “Fluorinated Terphenyls”, 9815536.9, 17th May 1998
35    J.C. Jones, A.G. Graham, T. Numao, M. Sugino (1998) “Technique for reducing pseudo-edge in displays using temporal dither”, 29th April 1998. US 6,147,792
34    J.C. Jones, A.J. Slaney and V. Minter (1997) "Liquid Crystal Host mixtures", 13th November 1997. GB 9723949.5, US 6,413,593
33    J.C. Jones and A.J. Slaney (1997) "Liquid Crystal Composition and Liquid Crystal Shutter", 17th September 1997. US 6280653
32    J.C. Jones and J.R. Hughes (1997) " Malvern Addressing Schemes in which the Strobe have Increasing Voltage in the Extension - MASSIVE" 29th August 97. US 6,351,256
31    G.P. Bryan-Brown, V.C. Hui, J.C. Jones, I.C. Sage, E.L. Wood, (1997) "Liquid Crystal Device Alignment" 30th September 1997. US 6,727, 968,  EP 1046078 B1, US 6,727,968
30    J.C. Jones,  E.W. Wood and G.P. Bryan-Brown, (1997) "Bistable Liquid Crystal Device", GB 2346978B, EP 1042702 B1.
29    J.C. Jones, G.P Bryan-Brown and I.C. Sage, "Smectic Liquid Crystal Device Alignment",  9721214.6, 30th September 1997
28    K.P. Lymer and J.C. Jones, (1997) "Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Devices with double turnaround" US 6,326,940 B1.
27    J.C. Jones "Optimising alignment layers in colour LCD", (1997) GB 2 326 730.
26    D.G. McDonnell, J.C. Jones, T. Sako, A. Miyazaki, A. Sakaigawa, M. Koden, P.A. Gass and M.J. Towler (1997) “Liquid Crystal Device including dopant phase separated from the Liquid Crystal”, US 6 151 096
25    J.C. Jones and J.R. Hughes (1996) "Optimum weightings using combined analogue and digital greyscale methods", 16th December 1996. GB 2 320 357. US 6,094,187
24    J.C. Jones and J.R. Hughes "Display Device with overlapping sub-pixels", 16th December 1996. GB 2 320 359
23    P.Bonnett, D.G. McDonnell, P.A. Gass, J.C. Jones and M.J. Towler, (1996) "Use of phase separation to control domain formation in liquid crystal devices", 5th December 1996.  GB 2 320 103
22    J.C. Jones, (1996) "Improved C2 in FLC by annealing polymer aligned cell". GB 2 324 619
21    J.C. Jones, P.E. Dunn and S.D. Haslam, (1996) "Liquid Crystal Devices - improved contrast by means of reduced depolarised scattering",  31st July 1996. GB 2 315 903
20    J.C. Jones, S.D. Haslam, R.J. Bannister, (1996) "Liquid Crystal Device”, 6th November 1996. US 6, 094,251
19    J.C. Jones, S.D. Haslam, R.J. Bannister, (1996) "Hybrid alignment for colour displays",  6th November 1996. GB 2 319 348. US 6, 020, 947
18    M.J. Bradshaw, J.C. Jones, I.C. Sage, D.G. McDonnell and P.A. Gass (1996) "Liquid Crystal Device. US 6, 118, 510
17    M.J. Bradshaw, J.C. Jones, I.C. Sage, D.G. McDonnell and P.A. Gass (1996) "Liquid Crystal Device: Polymer walls for mechanical stability",  26th July 1996 GB 2 315 900. US 6, 016, 180
16    J.C. Jones, J.R. Hughes and M.H. Anderson (1996) "Matrix array bistable device addressing  - Control of blanking pulse", 20th June 1996  GB 2 314 446. US 6054973
15    J.R. Hughes, D.C. Scattergood and J.C. Jones (1996) "Analogue Shaped Addressing Schemes for Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Devices",  17th May 1996. GB 2 313 223 A, EP 97303366.5, US 6, 057, 821.
14    J.C. Jones, K.P. Lymer, M.S. Bancroft and C.V. Brown (1996) "Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Device Alignment", 11th June 1996. GB 2 314 169., JP 10123530.
13    T. Sako, N. Itoh, M. Koden and J.C. Jones (1996) “Method of Manufacturing a Liquid Crystal Display Element” 17th May 1996, GB 2 313 204. US 5, 897, 189.
12    J.C. Jones (1996) "Alignment of ferroelectric liquid crystal displays",  1st March 1996. US6307610.
11    M.S. Bancroft, C.V. Brown, G.P. Bryan-Brown, P.E. Dunn, S.D. Haslam, J.C. Jones, M. Orr and A. J. Pidduck (1996) “Liquid Crystal Device”, GB 9615732
10    M.S. Bancroft, C.V. Brown, G.P. Bryan-Brown, P.E. Dunn, S.D. Haslam, J.C. Jones, D.G. McDonnell (1996) “Liquid Crystal Device with Greyscale”, GB 9615817
9    J.C.Jones, J.R. Hughes and M.H. Anderson (1995) "Multiplex addressing of ferroelectric liquid crystal displays", 21st December 1995, GB 2 312 542. US 6127996
8    G. P. Bryan-Brown, C.V. Brown and J.C. Jones (1995) "Bistable Nematic Liquid Crystal Device", 16th October 1995. US 6456348
7    G. P. Bryan-Brown, C.V. Brown and J.C. Jones (1995) "Bistable Nematic Liquid Crystal Device", 16th October 1995. GB 2 318 422; US 06249332; EP 856164 B1.
6    I.C. Sage, D.G. McDonnell, J.C. Jones and A.J. Slaney (1994) "Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal Devices", 9th December 1994. GB 2 299 095. US 5, 820, 786.
5    I. R. Mason, J.C. Jones, G. P. Bryan-Brown and D. G. McDonnell, (1994) "Impact resistant ferroelectric liquid crystal device", Granted as GB 2 306 498; US 6, 075, 583; EP 778960 B1
4    G.P. Bryan-Brown, M.J. Towler, J.C. Jones and D.G. McDonnell (1994) "Ferroelectric Liquid Crystal device alignment", 9th February 1994.  GB 2 301 195. US 5, 754, 264.
3    J.W.Goodby, M.Hird, D.R. Beattie, P.Hindmarsh, G.W. Gray, D.G.McDonnell, J.C. Jones and T.J. Phillips,  (1993) “Discotic Compounds and Mixtures, and Devices containing Discotic Compounds”, 19th June 1993. US 5, 750, 050.
2    D.G. McDonnell, J.C. Jones and I.C. Sage, (1992) "Ferroelectric liquid crystal device" 24th November 1992, GB 0670872, EP 670872B1; 5,611,957
1    D.G. McDonnell, J.C Jones, C.J.T. Smith and I.R. Mason (1991) “Large Area Displays”, British Patent Application 9106720.7. 25th March 1991.  GB 2 268 306 B. EP 577676B1, US6259497.

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics
  • Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce
  • Senior Member of the Society of Information Display
  • Honorary QinetiQ Fellow

Current postgraduate research students

Postgraduate research opportunities

We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our research opportunities allow you to search for projects and scholarships.

Projects currently available: