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Soft Matter and Biological Physics
Eur. Phys. J. E 10, 291-301 (2003)
DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2002-10005-5

Dynamic soft elasticity in monodomain nematic elastomers

A. Hotta and E.M. Terentjev

Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HE, UK


(Received 24 July 2002 / Published online: 29 April 2003)

We study the linear dynamic-mechanical response of monodomain nematic liquid crystalline elastomers under shear in the geometry that allows the director rotation. The aspects of time-temperature superposition are discussed at some length and Master Curves are obtained between the glassy state and the nematic transition temperature $T_{\rm ni}$. However, the time-temperature superposition did not work through the clearing point $T_{\rm ni}$, due to the transition from the "soft-elasticity" nematic regime to the ordinary isotropic rubber response. We focus on the low-frequency region of the Master Curves and establish the power law dependence of the modulus $G' \propto \omega^a$. This law agrees very well with the results of static stress relaxation, where each relaxation curve obeys the analogous power law $G'
\propto t^{-a}$ in the corresponding region of long times and temperatures.

83.80.Va - Elastomeric polymers.
61.30.-v - Liquid crystals.
83.85.Vb - Small amplitude oscillatory shear (dynamic mechanical analysis).

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2003