Anomalous viscoelastic response of nematic elastomers

Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Apr 30;86(18):4044-7. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.86.4044.


We report a combined theoretical and experimental study of linear viscoelastic response in oriented monodomain nematic elastomers. The model predicts a dramatic decrease in the dynamic modulus in certain deformation geometries in an elastic medium with an independently mobile internal degree of freedom, the nematic director with its own relaxation dynamics. Dynamic mechanical measurements on monodomain nematic elastomers confirm our predictions of dependence on shear geometry and on nematic order, and also show a very substantial mechanical loss clearly associated with director relaxation.