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Issue 21, 2011
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Main-chain swollen liquid crystal elastomers: a molecular simulation study

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Abstract

We have performed large-scale off-lattice computer simulations in a model system of swollen main-chain liquid-crystalline elastomers, constituted of weakly reticulated soft Gay–Berne chains, investigating both nematic and smectic morphologies. We present isostress Monte Carlo results for temperature-scan and stress–strain experiments, and connect to typical experimental observables, such as sample dimensions, specific heat, deuterium magnetic resonance spectra, and scattered X-ray patterns. We find that the results reproduce the main features of main-chain elastomers, e.g., a pronounced strain-alignment coupling and the existence of two (nematic–isotropic and smectic–nematic) order–disorder phase transitions. The nematic–isotropic transition in our system turns out to be weakly first-order.

Graphical abstract: Main-chain swollen liquid crystal elastomers: a molecular simulation study

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Article information


Submitted
19 Apr 2011
Accepted
11 Jul 2011
First published
08 Sep 2011

Soft Matter, 2011,7, 9983-9991
Article type
Paper

Main-chain swollen liquid crystal elastomers: a molecular simulation study

G. Skačej and C. Zannoni, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 9983
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05709J

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