Molecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals, Vol.643, No.1, 83-96, 2017
Contraction of side-on nematic liquid crystalline elastomers micropillars: Influence of molecular parameters
We investigated the structure-property relationship of nematic liquid crystalline elastomer (LCE) actuators obtained from a series of nematic side-on monomers. The liquid crystalline acrylate monomers were designed and synthesized with different tail lengths. Combining a soft lithography technique with photo-polymerization/photo-crosslinking of aligned nematic liquid crystalline monomers and crosslinkers, nematic LCE micropillars were obtained, based on the new monomers. Through microscopic observation, influence of some structural parameters on the thermo-mechanical behavior of the micropillars was investigated. The thermo-mechanical behavior of the LCEs showed a close correlation with to the tail length of the monomer and the spacer length of the crosslinker.