Theory of liquid crystal elastomers and polymer networks
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In liquid crystal elastomers and polymer networks, the orientational order of liquid crystals is coupled with elastic distortions of crosslinked polymers. Previous theoretical research has described these materials through two different approaches: a neoclassical theory based on the liquid crystal director and the deformation gradient tensor, and a geometric elasticity theory based on the difference between the actual metric tensor and a reference metric. Here, we connect those two approaches using a formalism based on differential geometry. Through this connection, we determine how both the director and the geometry respond to a change of temperature.
KeywordsSoft Matter: Liquid crystals
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