Thermal diffusion and bending kinetics in nematic elastomer cantilever
Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, J.J. Thomson Avenue, CB3 0HE, Cambridge, UK
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Accepted: 7 January 2008
Published online: 24 January 2008
Vertically aligned monodomain nematic liquid-crystal elastomers contract when heated. If a temperature gradient is applied across the width of such a cantilever, inhomogeneous strain distribution leads to bending motion. We modelled the kinetics of thermally induced bending in the limit of a long thin strip and the predicted time variation of curvature agreed quantitatively with experimental data from samples with a range of critical indices and nematic-isotropic transition temperatures. We also deduced a value for the thermal diffusion coefficient of the elastomer.
PACS: 78.20.Hp Piezo-, elasto-, and acoustooptical effects; photoacoustic effects – / 61.41.+e Polymers, elastomers, and plastics – / 82.35.Ej Nonlinear optics with polymers – / 83.80.Va Elastomeric polymers –
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2008