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Published June 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Characterization of soft stripe-domain deformations in Sm-C and Sm-C* liquid-crystal elastomers


The neoclassical model of Sm-C (and Sm-C*) elastomers developed by Warner and Adams predicts a class of "soft" (zero energy) deformations. We find and describe the full set of stripe domains—laminate structures in which the laminates alternate between two different deformations—that can form between pairs of these soft deformations. All the stripe domains fall into two classes, one in which the smectic layers are not bent at the interfaces, but for which—in the Sm-C* case—the interfaces are charged, and one in which the smectic layers are bent but the interfaces are never charged. Striped deformations significantly enhance the softness of the macroscopic elastic response.

Additional Information

© 2009 American Physical Society. Received 19 December 2008; revised 20 March 2009; published 23 June 2009. We are grateful for many interesting and important discussions with Professor Mark Warner. This work was carried out during various visits by J.S.B. to Caltech and K.B. to Cambridge. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the CamSURF program at Caltech, the Powell Foundation, the Sims Fund, and the EPSRC. PACS numbers: 61.30.Vx, 83.80.Va, 62.20.D, 61.41.e

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