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Thiol-acrylate side-chain liquid crystal elastomers

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Guo, Hongye 
Saed, Mohand 


The Michael addition ‘click’ chemistry was used to graft acrylate-terminated mesogenic groups onto the polysiloxane backbone polymer chain with thiol functional groups, with a constant 15% fraction of diacrylate reacting monomers as crosslinkers. Three different types of mesogens were used, and also their 50:50 mixtures, and in all cases we have obtained the smectic-A phase of the resulting liquid crystalline elastomer. Using the Xray diffraction, calorimetry and dynamic mechanical testing, we investigated the relationship between the molecular structure of mesogenic side groups and the structure and properties of the elastomers. The shape-memory of smectic elastomers was verified. The unusual features were the semi-crystalline nature of elastomers with non-polar mesogens, and the clear role of of side-by-side rod dimerization of polar mesogens leading to the higher smectic layer spacing. We investigated the evolution of the smectic alignment on uniaxial stretching along the layer normal, and identified two distinct ways the elastomer response: the coarsened Helfrich-Hurault zig-zag layer texture, and the large-scale stripe domains of uniform layer rotation in the systems with lower order parameter and the associated layer constraints.



3403 Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry, 34 Chemical Sciences

Journal Title

Soft Matter

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Royal Society of Chemistry
European Research Council (786659)