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Nematic elastomers with a locked-in anisotropy direction exhibit semisoft elastic response characterized by a plateau in the stress-strain curve in which stress does not change with strain. We calculate the global phase diagram for a minimal model, which is equivalent to one describing a nematic in crossed electric and magnetic fields, and show that semisoft behavior is associated with a broken symmetry biaxial phase and that it persists well into the supercritical regime. We also consider generalizations beyond the minimal model and find similar results.
Ye, F., Mukhopadhyay, R., Stenull, O., & Lubensky, T. C. (2007). Semisoft Nematic Elastomers and Nematics in Crossed Electric and Magnetic Fields. Retrieved from https://repository.upenn.edu/physics_papers/159
Date Posted: 18 May 2011
This document has been peer reviewed.