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Macromol Rapid Commun. 2013 Jan 25;34(2):135-41. doi: 10.1002/marc.201200588. Epub 2012 Oct 30.

Orientability of the minor director of homeotropically aligned smectic-a elastomers in external mechanical fields.

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Institut für Makromolekulare Chemie, Freiburg i. Br., Germany.


We present studies on bulk smectic-A copolymer networks with end-on attached homeotropically oriented mesogens that show spontaneous optical biaxiality at room temperature. Orthoscopic and conoscopic investigations under uniaxial extension in the layer planes give first evidence of the orientability of the minor director in mechanical fields yielding biaxial monodomains with 3-d orientational long-range order of all three principle axes. This is an important step towards the synthesis of permanently oriented biaxial monodomain elastomers for which highly interesting mechanical and optical properties are expected.

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