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Published June 8, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Disclination-mediated thermo-optical response in nematic glass sheets


Nematic solids respond strongly to changes in ambient heat or light, significantly differently parallel and perpendicular to the director. This phenomenon is well characterized for uniform director fields but not for defect textures. We analyze the elastic ground states of a nematic glass in the membrane approximation as a function of temperature for some disclination defects with an eye toward reversibly inducing three-dimensional shapes from flat sheets of material, at the nanoscale all the way to macroscopic objects, including nondevelopable surfaces. The latter offers a paradigm to actuation via switchable stretch in thin systems.

Additional Information

© 2010 The American Physical Society. Received 26 October 2009; revised manuscript received 3 May 2010; published 8 June 2010. C.D.M., K.B., and M.W. acknowledge support from the EPSRC-GB.

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Published - Modes2010p10520Phys_Rev_E.pdf


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