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Crystals 2013, 3(2), 363-390; doi:10.3390/cryst3020363

Soft Elasticity in Main Chain Liquid Crystal Elastomers

1
Department of Physics, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242, USA
2
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA
Current address: Brady Innovation Center, 15/F, Sinolight Building B, 4 Qiyang Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100201, China.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 2 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 7 June 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Liquid Crystals)
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Abstract

Main chain liquid crystal elastomers exhibit several interesting phenomena, such as three different regimes of elastic response, unconventional stress-strain relationship in one of these regimes, and the shape memory effect. Investigations are beginning to reveal relationships between their macroscopic behavior and the nature of domain structure, microscopic smectic phase structure, relaxation mechanism, and sample history. These aspects of liquid crystal elastomers are briefly reviewed followed by a summary of the results of recent elastic and high-resolution X-ray diffraction studies of the shape memory effect and the dynamics of the formation of the smectic-C chevron-like layer structure. A possible route to realizing auxetic effect at molecular level is also discussed.
Keywords: X-ray diffraction; main chain liquid crystal elastomer; shape memory effect; smectic-C elastomer; polydomain to monodomain transition; stress-strain curve X-ray diffraction; main chain liquid crystal elastomer; shape memory effect; smectic-C elastomer; polydomain to monodomain transition; stress-strain curve
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dey, S.; Agra-Kooijman, D.M.; Ren, W.; McMullan, P.J.; Griffin, A.C.; Kumar, S. Soft Elasticity in Main Chain Liquid Crystal Elastomers. Crystals 2013, 3, 363-390.

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