Mechanical Switching of ferro-electric rubber

Mark Warner ,James M Adams

Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University

At the A to C transition, elastomers have been recently observed to undergo ~35% spontaneous shear strains. We describe how strains of up to twice this value can be mechanically induced in SmC elastomers. For typical sample geometries, microstructures akin to those seen in nematic elastomers should arise. We give explicit results for the nature of the textures. Chiral SmC elastomers are ferro-electric. We describe how the polarisation can be mechanically reversed by large, hard or soft strains of the rubber, depending upon sample geometry.

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