Volume 64, Number 5, December 2003
|Page(s)||654 - 660|
|Section||Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties|
|Published online||01 November 2003|
Nematic elastomers with aligned carbon nanotubes: New electromechanical actuators
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge - Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK
Accepted: 20 October 2003
We demonstrate, for the first time, the large electromechanical response in nematic liquid-crystalline elastomers filled with a very low () concentration of carbon nanotubes, aligned along the nematic director at preparation. The nanotubes create a very large effective dielectric anisotropy of the composite. Their local field-induced torque is transmitted to the rubber elastic network and is registered as the exerted uniaxial stress of order kPa in response to a constant field of order MV/m. We investigate the dependence of the effect on field strength, nanotube concentration and reproducibility under multiple field-on and -off cycles. The results indicate the potential of the nanotube-nematic elastomer composites as electrically driven actuators.
PACS: 61.30.-v – Liquid crystals / 61.41.+e – Polymers, elastomers, and plastics / 85.35.Kt – Nanotube devices
© EDP Sciences, 2003
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