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J Chem Phys. 2015 May 7;142(17):174907. doi: 10.1063/1.4919651.

Volume phase transitions of cholesteric liquid crystalline gels.

Author information

1
Department of Bioscience and Bioinformatics, Faculty of Computer Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Kawazu 680-4, Iizuka, Fukuoka 820-8502, Japan.

Abstract

We present a mean field theory to describe anisotropic deformations of a cholesteric elastomer without solvent molecules and a cholesteric liquid crystalline gel immersed in isotropic solvents at a thermal equilibrium state. Based on the neoclassical rubber theory of nematic elastomers, we derive an elastic energy and a twist distortion energy, which are important to determine the shape of a cholesteric elastomer (or gel). We demonstrate that when the elastic energy dominates in the free energy, the cholesteric elastomer causes a spontaneous compression in the pitch axis and elongates along the director on the plane perpendicular to the pitch axis. Our theory can qualitatively describe the experimental results of a cholesteric elastomer. We also predict the first-order volume phase transitions and anisotropic deformations of a gel at the cholesteric-isotropic phase transition temperature. Depending on a chirality of a gel, we find a prolate or oblate shape of cholesteric gels.

PMID:
25956120
DOI:
10.1063/1.4919651
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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