Nonlinear photoresponse of disordered elastomers

Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Jun 16;96(23):237802. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.96.237802. Epub 2006 Jun 12.


We model the polarization-dependent photocontractions of polydomain nematic elastomers. Contraction initially arises by light-induced director rotation. At higher light intensity, strain recovers because the local order parameter diminishes. Thus we predict photostrains to be nonmonotonic with light intensity and predict the induction of a negative global order parameter for the system of polydomains. Nonmonotonic strains would give curvature reversal in thick samples. Our model also predicts an elongational strain response to nonpolarized light.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Elastomers / chemistry*
  • Elastomers / radiation effects*
  • Liquid Crystals / chemistry*
  • Liquid Crystals / radiation effects*
  • Models, Chemical*
  • Models, Molecular*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Photochemistry / methods*


  • Elastomers