Soft elasticity in smectic elastomers

James Michael Adams ,Mark Warner

Cambridge University

We investigate the soft elastic modes of smectic elastomers, that is shape change without energy cost. We use a microscopic model for their non-linear elasticity, similar those used for nematic elastomers. We consider two different phases of smectic elastomer; the biaxial smectic A for a simple illustration, and smectic C phases which are of great practical significance. We show that only one non-trivial trajectory of the director gives soft deformations. We give a geometrical interpretation of this soft elastic mode and give an explicit example.

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