Regular Article - Soft Matter
Is there only one equilibrium configuration for spontaneous bending of liquid crystal elastomer circular plates with free edges?
School of Science, Harbin Institute of Technology, 518055, Shenzhen, China
Accepted: 15 September 2021
Published online: 6 October 2021
In this paper, the spontaneous bending of a liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) circular plate under light illumination is investigated. The large bending deformation configurations for the LCE circular plate with free edges are obtained by minimizing the potential energy. It is found that for an LCE circular plate with random distribution of liquid crystal molecules, if the light intensity is small, there is only one equilibrium configuration for bending of the LCE circular plate. However, when the light intensity reaches a critical value, the circular plate will buckle and there will be three possible equilibrium configurations. On the other hand, for an LCE circular plate with uniform orientation of liquid crystal molecules, the strain induced by light is anisotropic, and there is only one equilibrium configuration. In addition, bending shapes of the LCE circular plate depend on its thickness. These results may be useful for designing light-driven LCE devices.
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to EDP Sciences, SIF and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021