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Published June 1, 2021 | public
Journal Article

A micromechanical-based model of stimulus responsive liquid crystal elastomers


Stimulus responsive elastomers are advanced engineered materials that perform desired functionalities when triggered by external stimuli. Liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs) are one important example that exhibit reversible actuation when cycled above and below their nematic-to-isotropic transition temperature. Here, we propose a micromechanical-based model that is centered on the evolution of the chain distribution tensor of the LCE network. Our model, framed within the statistical model of the chain network, enables a mesoscale description of their mechanical response under an external thermal stimulus. We compare the model to prior experimental observations of the bending response of 3D printed LCE elements with controlled director alignment.

Additional Information

© 2021 Elsevier Ltd. Received 19 September 2020, Revised 12 February 2021, Accepted 25 February 2021, Available online 9 March 2021. The work was supported by the Army Research Office (ARO) Grant W911NF-17-1-0147 (to C.D. and C.M.) and by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship to C.M. The experimental work was supported by the Harvard MRSEC (NSF DMR-1420570 to J.A.L. and A.K.) and the ARO MURI Grant W911NF-17-1-0351 (J.A.L.). R.B. and M.P.C. gratefully acknowledge the support from European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (H2020-WIDESPREAD-2018, SIRAMM), under grant agreement No 857124. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023