We greatly appreciate the financial support of this work by NIH under Grant R01-HL65959 and ONR under Grant N000140210418.
Nematic Anisotropic Liquid-Crystal Gels—Self-Assembled Nanocomposites with High Electromechanical Response†
Article first published online: 1 JUL 2003
Copyright © 2003 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Advanced Functional Materials
Volume 13, Issue 7, pages 525–529, July, 2003
How to Cite
Huang, C., Zhang, Q.M. and Jákli, A. (2003), Nematic Anisotropic Liquid-Crystal Gels—Self-Assembled Nanocomposites with High Electromechanical Response. Adv. Funct. Mater., 13: 525–529. doi: 10.1002/adfm.200304322
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2003
- Article first published online: 1 JUL 2003
- Manuscript Received: 7 JAN 2003
- Liquid crystal gels, anisotropic;
- Microelectromechanical systems;
- Nanocomposites, self-assembled
The uniqueness of liquid crystals (LCs) lies in the large anisotropies of their properties, which can be utilized to generate high electromechanical responses. In a properly oriented LC polymer system, an external electric field can induce reorientation of the mesogenic units possessing a dielectric anisotropy, which, when coupled with the shape anisotropy of the mesogenic units, can in turn produce large mechanical strain. Anisotropic LC gels, which can be obtained by in-situ photopolymerization of the reactive LC molecules in the presence of non-reactive LC molecules in an oriented state, are an example of such liquid-crystal polymer systems. It is shown here that a homeotropically aligned LC gel in its nematic phase exhibits high electrically induced strain (> 2 %) with an elastic modulus of 100 MPa and a high electromechanical conversion efficiency (75 %) under an electric field of 25 MV/m. These anisotropic LC polymeric materials could provide a technologically compatible system for such applications as artificial muscles and as microelectromechanical devices.