The influence of cross-linking on the phase behaviour of a series of side-chain liquid crystalline elastomers has been studied. For samples cross-linked in the temperature range corresponding to the nematic phase, the phase transition was shifted compared to that observed when an identical sample was cross-linked in the isotropic phase. This shift represented a stabilisation of the nematic phase in the former case, in line with theoretical expectations. By utilising a novel, slow cross-linking method, which allows the polymer backbone to take up an equilibrium conformation prior to network formation, it proved possible to monitor the shifts in phase transition temperature as a function of the length of the methylene chain coupling the mesogenic units to the polymer backbone. The results obtained are related to the backbone anisotropy and indicate that the level of orientational order of the polymer in the nematic phase backbone increases with a reduction in the length of the coupling chain.
Посилання на статтю:
Side-chain liquid crystalline elastomers: the relationship between the orientational ordering of the polymer backbone and the length of the coupling chain / A.J. Symons, F.J. Davis, G.R. Mitchell // Polymer. – 1999. – N 40. – P. 5365–5370.