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Published July 17, 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Supersoft elasticity in polydomain nematic elastomers


We consider the equilibrium stress-strain behavior of polydomain liquid crystal elastomers (PLCEs). We show that there is a fundamental difference between PLCEs cross-linked in the high temperature isotropic and low temperature aligned states. PLCEs cross-linked in the isotropic state then cooled to an aligned state will exhibit extremely soft elasticity (confirmed by recent experiments) and ordered director patterns characteristic of textured deformations. PLCEs cross-linked in the aligned state will be mechanically much harder and characterized by disclination textures.

Additional Information

©2009 The American Physical Society. Received 22 April 2009; published 15 July 2009. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Powell Foundation (Biggins), the Sims fund (Biggins), and the EPSRC (Bhattacharya and Warner). We thank K. Urayama for permission to reproduce the data in Fig. 2.

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Published - Biggins2009p5122Phys_Rev_Lett.pdf


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