Non-linear photo-response of disordered elastomers.

Daniel Corbett ,Mark Warner

University of Cambridge - Cavendish Lab

We model the polarisation-dependent photo-contractions 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 photo-strains non-monotonic with light intensity and the induction of a negative global order parameter for the system of polydomains. Non-monotonic strains would give curvature reversal in thick samples. Our model also predicts an elongational strain response to non-polarised light.

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