Phase transitions and soft elasticity of smectic elastomers

  • Stenull O
  • Lubensky T
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Smectic-C elastomers can be prepared by cross-linking, e.g., liquid crystal polymers, in the smectic-A phase followed by a cooling through the smectic-A to smectic-C phase transition. This transition from D(infinityh) to C(2h) symmetry spontaneously breaks rotational symmetry in the smectic plane as does the transition from a smectic-A to a biaxial smectic phase with D(2h) symmetry. We study these transitions and the emergent elasticity of the smectic-C and biaxial phases in three related models and show that these phases exhibit soft elasticity analogous to that of nematic elastomers.

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  • Olaf Stenull

  • T. C. Lubensky

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