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MiS Preprint

Material instabilities in nematic elastomers

Antonio DeSimone and Georg Dolzmann


Soft deformation paths and domain patterns in nematic elastomers are analyzed through the minimization of a nonconvex free-energy, recently proposed in the literature. The free-energy density has multiple wells, and is not restricted to small deformations. The problems of calculating the quasiconvex hull of the energy wells and the quasiconvex envelope of the free-energy density are formulated and solved (the latter only in two spatial dimensions). This leads to a complete characterization of the set of soft deformation paths available to a given material, and of its effective macroscopic energy.

elastometric polymers, liquid crystals, calculus of variations, domain structures, phase transitions

Related publications

2000 Repository Open Access
Antonio DeSimone and Georg Dolzmann

Material instabilities in nematic elastomers

In: Physica / D, 136 (2000) 1-2, pp. 175-191