Phase transitions in lyotropic nematic gels
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA
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Revised: 14 June 2002
Published online: 25 January 2014
In this paper, we discuss the equilibrium phases and collapse transitions of a lyotropic nematic gel immersed in an isotropic solvent. A nematic gel consists of a cross-linked polymer network with rod-like molecules embedded in it. Upon decreasing the quality of the solvent, we find that a lyotropic nematic gel undergoes a discontinuous volume change accompanied by an isotropic-nematic transition. We also present phase diagrams that these systems may exhibit. In particular, we show that coexistence of two isotropic phases, of two nematic phases, or of an isotropic and a nematic phase can occur.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, Società Italiana di Fisica, 2002