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Buckling Instability in Liquid Crystalline Physical Gels

Verduzco, Rafael and Meng, Guangnan and Kornfield, Julia A. and Meyer, Robert B. (2006) Buckling Instability in Liquid Crystalline Physical Gels. Physical Review Letters, 96 (14). Art. No. 147802. ISSN 0031-9007. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.147802.

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In a nematic gel we observe a low-energy buckling deformation arising from soft and semisoft elastic modes. We prepare the self-assembled gel by dissolving a coil–side-group liquid-crystalline polymer–coil copolymer in a nematic liquid crystal. The gel has long network strands and a precisely tailored structure, making it ideal for studying nematic rubber elasticity. Under polarized optical microscopy we observe a striped texture that forms when gels uniformly aligned at 35 °C are cooled to room temperature. We model the instability using the molecular theory of nematic rubber elasticity, and the theory correctly captures the change in pitch length with sample thickness and polymer concentration. This buckling instability is a clear example of a low-energy deformation that arises in materials where polymer network strains are coupled to the director orientation.

Item Type:Article
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Kornfield, Julia A.0000-0001-6746-8634
Additional Information:© 2006 The American Physical Society (Received 1 December 2005; revised 28 February 2006; published 13 April 2006) This work was supported by the Department of Defense, the James Irvine Foundation, AFOSR LC-MURI (F49620-97-1-0014), NSF Grant No. DMI-0523083, the W. M. Keck Foundation, and at Brandeis NSF Grant No. DMR-0322530.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Department of DefenseUNSPECIFIED
James Irvine FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)F49620-97-1-0014
W. M. Keck FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:stability; free energy; rubber; polymer gels; nematic liquid crystals; elastic deformation; buckling
Issue or Number:14
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:VERprl06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2715
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:23 Apr 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 19:50

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