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Published June 18, 2021 | Published + Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Probing the in-plane liquid-like behavior of liquid crystal elastomers


When isotropic solids are unequally stretched in two orthogonal directions, the true stress (force per actual cross-sectional area) in the larger strain direction is typically higher than that in the smaller one. We show that thiol-acrylate liquid crystal elastomers with polydomain texture exhibit an unusual tendency: The true stresses in the two directions are always identical and governed only by the area change in the loading plane, independently of the combination of imposed strains in the two directions. This feature proves a previously unidentified state of matter that can vary its shape freely with no extra mechanical energy like liquids when deformed in the plane. The theory and simulation that explain the unique behavior are also provided. The in-plane liquid-like behavior opens doors for manifold applications, including wrinkle-free membranes and adaptable materials.

Additional Information

© 2021 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC). Submitted 24 September 2020; Accepted 5 May 2021; Published 18 June 2021. We thank the Osaka Organic Chemical Industry Ltd. for the provision of the diacrylate compounds for the preliminary experiments and S. Okamoto for assistance in the experiments. K.U. is supported by JSPS KAKENHI grant number JP18H02034. K.B. and H.Z. are supported by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research MURI grant number FA9550-16-1-0566. Author contributions: K.U. conceptualized the experiment. K.B. provided theoretical insights for the experimental results. K.U. and K.B. supervised the project. H.T. and A.T. performed the sample preparation and mechanical tests. K.U., H.T., and A.T. analyzed the mechanical data. H.Z. carried out the full-field 3D simulation. K.Ka., K.Ko., and A.T. conducted the scattering experiments and the data analysis. K.U. and K.B. wrote the paper, and all of the authors edited the manuscript before submission. The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Data and materials availability: All data needed to evaluate the conclusions in the paper are present in the paper and/or the Supplementary Materials. Additional data related to this paper may be requested from the authors.

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Published - eabe9495.full.pdf

Supplemental Material - abe9495_Movie_S1.avi

Supplemental Material - abe9495_Movie_S2.avi

Supplemental Material - abe9495_Movie_S3.avi

Supplemental Material - abe9495_Movie_S4.avi

Supplemental Material - abe9495_SM.pdf


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August 20, 2023
October 23, 2023