Effect of crosslinker geometry on equilibrium thermal and mechanical properties of nematic elastomers

S. M. Clarke, Atsushi Hotta, A. R. Tajbakhsh, E. M. Terentjev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


We study three monodomain (single-crystal) nematic elastomer materials, all side-chain siloxane polymers with the same mesogenic groups but with different types of crosslinking: (i) short flexible siloxane linkage affine to the network backbone, (ii) short flexible aliphatic crosslinks miscible with mesogenic side chain groups, and (iii) long segments of main-chain nematic polymer. Equilibrium physical properties of these three systems are very different, especially the spontaneous thermal expansion and anisotropic stress-strain response along and perpendicular to the uniform nematic director. In the latter case, we examine the soft elastic plateau during the director reorientation. We compare the nematic order-parameter [formula presented] provided primarily by the side mesogenic groups and relatively constant between the samples, and the average backbone chain anisotropy [formula presented] which is strongly affected by the crosslinking geometry. The experimental data is compared quantitatively with theoretical models of nematic elastomers.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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