Effect of cross-linker geometry on dynamic mechanical properties of nematic elastomers

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 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 cross linking: (i) short flexible siloxane linkage affine to the network backbone, (ii) short flexible aliphatic cross links miscible with mesogenic side-chain groups, and (iii) long segments of main-chain nematic polymer. The dynamic mechanical response of these three systems shows a characteristically universal decrease of storage modulus and a corresponding increase of loss factor. This effect of “dynamic soft elasticity” is strongly anisotropic, depending on the nematic director orientation. We examine the important role of the average backbone chain anisotropy [formula presented] which is affected by the cross-linking geometry and contributes to the magnitude and frequency dependence of the dynamic anomaly, and discuss possible applications in mechanical damping and polarized acoustic technology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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