Mechanical strains and electric fields applied to topologically imprinted elastomers

D. J. Burridge, Y. Mao, M. Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyze and predict the behavior of a chirally imprinted elastomer under a mechanical strain and an electric field, applied along the helical axis. As the strain and/or field increases, the system is deformed from a conical or transverse imprinted state towards an ultimately nematic one. At a critical strain and/or field there is a first-order transition to a low imprinting efficiency state. This transition is accompanied by a discontinuous global rotation of the director toward the axis of the imprinted helix, measured by the cone angle, θ. We show that the threshold electric field required for switching this transition can be conveniently low, provided an appropriate prestrain is imposed. We suggest that these properties may give rise to a “chiral pump.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)021708
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


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