The European Physical Journal E

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 83–89

Thermal diffusion and bending kinetics in nematic elastomer cantilever


  • K. K. Hon
    • Cavendish LaboratoryUniversity of Cambridge
  • D. Corbett
    • Cavendish LaboratoryUniversity of Cambridge
    • Cavendish LaboratoryUniversity of Cambridge
Regular Article

DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2007-10266-4

Cite this article as:
Hon, K.K., Corbett, D. & Terentjev, E.M. Eur. Phys. J. E (2008) 25: 83. doi:10.1140/epje/i2007-10266-4


Vertically aligned monodomain nematic liquid-crystal elastomers contract when heated. If a temperature gradient is applied across the width of such a cantilever, inhomogeneous strain distribution leads to bending motion. We modelled the kinetics of thermally induced bending in the limit of a long thin strip and the predicted time variation of curvature agreed quantitatively with experimental data from samples with a range of critical indices and nematic-isotropic transition temperatures. We also deduced a value for the thermal diffusion coefficient of the elastomer.


78.20.Hp Piezo-, elasto-, and acoustooptical effects; photoacoustic effects61.41.+e Polymers, elastomers, and plastics82.35.Ej Nonlinear optics with polymers83.80.Va Elastomeric polymers
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© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag 2008