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Liquid crystalline elastomers as artificial muscles

Liquid crystalline elastomers as artificial muscles AbstractNew nematic co-elastomers were synthesized which consist of a combination of nematic side- and main-chain polymers and where the liquid crystalline main-chain polymer can be considered as a macromolecular crosslinking component. By applying a mechanical field during the crosslinking process, the director of the nematic phase becomes macroscopically uniformly aligned and liquid-single-crystal elastomers were obtained. Within a narrow temperature regime, these networks can change their shape in one dimension by a factor > 3 and considerably improve the ability of being used as artificial muscles or mechanical actuators compared to the well known nematic side-chain elastomers. Networks having a non-ordered polydomain structure exhibit “soft (or semi-soft) elasticity” which is not only determined by a director reorientation process. Obviously, hairpin conformations within the main-chain segments contribute to this effect. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png e-Polymers de Gruyter

Liquid crystalline elastomers as artificial muscles

e-Polymers , Volume 1 (1): 1 – Dec 1, 2001

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2013 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co.
ISSN
2197-4586
eISSN
1618-7229
DOI
10.1515/epoly.2001.1.1.111
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractNew nematic co-elastomers were synthesized which consist of a combination of nematic side- and main-chain polymers and where the liquid crystalline main-chain polymer can be considered as a macromolecular crosslinking component. By applying a mechanical field during the crosslinking process, the director of the nematic phase becomes macroscopically uniformly aligned and liquid-single-crystal elastomers were obtained. Within a narrow temperature regime, these networks can change their shape in one dimension by a factor > 3 and considerably improve the ability of being used as artificial muscles or mechanical actuators compared to the well known nematic side-chain elastomers. Networks having a non-ordered polydomain structure exhibit “soft (or semi-soft) elasticity” which is not only determined by a director reorientation process. Obviously, hairpin conformations within the main-chain segments contribute to this effect.

Journal

e-Polymersde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2001

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