Volume 63, Number 1, July 2003
|Page(s)||76 - 82|
|Section||Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||01 June 2003|
Phase transitions of nematic rubbers
Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, Collège de France 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
2 Department of Physics, Graduate School of Humanities and Sciences Ochanomizu University - 2-1-1, Otsuka, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 112-8610, Japan
Accepted: 2 May 2003
Single-crystal nematic elastomers undergo a transition from a strongly ordered phase N to an “isotropic” phase I. We show that: a) samples produced under tension by the Finkelmann procedure are intrinsically anisotropic and should show a small (temperature-dependent) birefringence in the high-temperature I phase; b) for the transition via cooling there is a spinodal limit but for the transition via heating there is no soft mode at the standard spinodal temperature; c) the transition is reminiscent of a martensitic transformation: nucleation of the I phase should occur in the form of platelets, making a well-defined angle with the director.
PACS: 64.70.Md – Transitions in liquid crystals / 64.60.Qb – Nucleation / 61.30.Vx – Polymer liquid crystals
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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