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Issue 39, 2010
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Bent-core liquid crystal elastomers

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Abstract

Liquid crystal (LC) elastomers with bent-core side-groups incorporate the properties of bent-core liquid crystals in a flexible and self-supporting polymer network. Bent-core liquid crystal elastomers (BCEs) with uniform alignment were prepared by attaching a reactive bent-core LC to poly(hydrogenmethylsiloxane) and crosslinking with a divinyl crosslinker. Phase behavior studies indicate a nematic phase over a wide temperature range that approaches room temperature, and thermoelastic measurements show that these BCEs can reversibly change their length by more than a factor of two upon heating and cooling. Small-angle X-ray scattering studies reveal multiple, broad low-angle peaks consistent with short-range smectic C order of the bent-core side groups. A comparison of these patterns with predictions of a Landau model for short-range smectic C order shows that the length scale for smectic ordering in BCEs is similar to that seen in pure bent-core LCs. The combination of rubber elasticity and smectic ordering of the bent-core side groups suggests that BCEs may be promising materials for sensing, actuating, and other advanced applications.

Graphical abstract: Bent-core liquid crystal elastomers

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Publication details

The article was received on 16 Jun 2010, accepted on 28 Jul 2010 and first published on 27 Aug 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0JM01920H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2010,20, 8488-8495
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    Bent-core liquid crystal elastomers

    R. Verduzco, P. Luchette, S. H. Hong, J. Harden, E. DiMasi, P. Palffy-Muhoray, S. M. Kilbey II, S. Sprunt, J. T. Gleeson and A. Jákli, J. Mater. Chem., 2010, 20, 8488
    DOI: 10.1039/C0JM01920H

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