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Critical voltages and blocking stresses in nematic gels

TitleCritical voltages and blocking stresses in nematic gels
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDeSimone, A, Di Carlo, A, Teresi, L
JournalEur. Phys. J. E 24 (2007) 303-310

We use a recently proposed model to study the dynamics of director remodeling in nematic gels under combined electro-mechanical loading. Focusing on a model specimen, we describe the critical volt-ages that must be exceeded to achieve mesogen reorientation, and the blocking stresses that prevent alignment of the nematic mesogens with the electric field. The corresponding phase diagram shows that the dynamic thresholds defined above are different from those predicted on the sole basis of energetics. Multistep loading programs are used to explore the energy landscape of our model specimen, showing the existence of multiple local minima under the same voltage and applied stress. This leads us to conclude that hysteresis should be expected in the electro-mechanical response of nematic gels.


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