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A single director switching mode for monodomain liquid crystal elastomer

Roberts, P.M.S., Mitchell, G.R. and Davis, F.J. ORCID: (1997) A single director switching mode for monodomain liquid crystal elastomer. Journal de Physique II, 7 (10). pp. 1337-1351. ISSN 1155-4312

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1997190


We report rotation of a single director in a nematic monodomain, acrylate based side-chain elastomer which was subjected to mechanical fields applied at angles in the range to the director, , present at the time of network formation. Time and spatially resolving wide angle X-ray scattering, together with polarised light microscopy measurements revealed a pronounced, almost discontinuous switching mode at a critical extension as the strain was applied at angles approaching to , whereas a more continuous rotation was seen when the strain was applied at more acute angles. This director reorientation was more or less uniform across the complete sample and was accompanied by a modest decrease in orientation parameter . At strains sufficient to induce switching there was some continuous distribution of director orientations with fluctuations of 10 although there was no evidence for any localised director inhomogenities such as domain formation. The observed deformation behaviour of these acrylate-based nematic monodomains was in accord with the predictions of a theory developed by Bladon et al., in that the complete set of data could be accounted for through a single parameter describing the chain anisotropy. The experimentally deduced chain anisotropy parameter was in broad agreement with that obtained from small-angle neutron scattering procedures, but was somewhat greater than that obtained by spontaneous shape changes at the nematic-isotropic transition.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Chemical Analysis Facility (CAF) > Electron Microscopy Laboratory (CAF)
ID Code:26896
Publisher:Les Editions de Physique

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