These downloadable links represent a small slice of our activities over the last 5-6 years.

The review on nonequilibrium statistical mechanics of liquid crystals: relaxation, viscosity and elasticity Download PDF

The opening pages of the book "Liquid Crystal Elastomers" Download PDF

Carbon nanocomposites are interesting materials... We do all sorts of things there:
"Thermal fluctuations, stress relaxation, and actuation in carbon nanotube networks" (Phys. Rev. B 76, 165437, 2007)
"Infrared actuation in aligned polymer-nanotube composites" (Phys. Rev. B 73, 085420, 2006)
"Dispersion rheology of carbon nanotubes in a polymer matrix" (Phys. Rev. B 73, 125422, 2006)
"Photomechanical actuation in polymer–nanotube composites" (Nature Mater. 4, 491, 2005)
"Nematic elastomers with aligned carbon nanotubes: New electromechanical actuators " (Europhys. Lett., 64, 654, 2003)

Liquid crystal colloids are back! After a few years we've returned to this field, this time more with experimental questions:
"Colloidal interactions and transport in nematic liquid crystals" (Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 157801, 2007)
"Formation of cellular solid in liquid crystal colloids" (Langmuir, v.17, 2942, 2001)

Biopolymers represent a rapidly growing area of our interests and activity, in theory and experiment:
"Emulsification and stabilization mechanisms of O/W emulsions in the presence of chitosan" (Langmuir , 24, 12247, 2008)
"Concentration-Temperature Superposition of Helix Folding Rates in Gelatin" (Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 028304, 2007)
"Folding of polymer chains with short-range binormal interactions" (J. Phys. A: Math. Gen. 39, 4811, 2006)
"Induced helicity in biopolymer networks under stress" (PNAS, vol.102, 13457, 2005)
"Stretching Globular Polymers: Single chains and Networks" (J. Chem. Phys. 122, xx, 2005)

How to separate left- from right-handed components of a racemic mixture? We have an answer:
"Chirality transfer and stereoselectivity of imprinted cholesteric networks" (Phys. Rev. E 73, 011803, 2006)
"Stereo-Selective Swelling of Imprinted Cholesteric Networks" (Phys. Rev. Lett. 91, 085503, 2003)
"Phase chirality and stereo-selective swelling of cholesteric elastomers" (Eur. Phys. J. E 12, 617, 2003)

We are back studying topological defects, now in liquid crystal polymers!
"Spontaneous Size Selection in Cellulose Emulsions..." (Langmuir 22, 2365, 2006)
"Shape-memory nanoparticles... " (Nature Mater. 4, 486, 2005)
"Disclinations and Their Interactions in Thin Films... in cellulose (Macromolecules 37, 390, 2004)
"Phase Separation and Organisation of Colloidal Spheres... in cellulose (Macromol. Rapid Comm. 26,911, 2005)

We were there right from the beginning of "thermal and photo-actuators"... More recent work has focused on Fibers!
"Helical twisting of electrospun liquid crystalline cellulose micro- and nanofibers" (Adv. Mater. 20, 4821, 2008)
"Self-Assembled Shape-Memory Fibers of Triblock Liquid-Crystal Polymers" (Adv. Func. Mater. 16, 556, 2006)
"Thermal diffusion and bending kinetics in nematic elastomer cantilever" (Eur. Phys. J. E 25, 83, 2008)
"Spontaneous thermal expansion of nematic elastomers" (Euro. Phys. J. E 6, 181, 2001)
"UV-Manipulation of Order and Macroscopic Shape in Nematic Elastomers" (Phys. Rev. E 65, 041720, 2002)
"UV-isomerisation in nematic elastomers as a route to photo-mechanical transducer" (Euro. Phys. J. E 9, 427, 2002)

"Cholesteric elastomers: Deformable photonic solids" (Phys. Rev. E 64, 041803, 2001);
"Evolution of photonic structure on deformation of cholesteric elastomers" (Phys. Rev. E 65, 051704, 2002)

We had a go at developing a better theory of rubber elasticity:
"Constrained Rouse model of rubber viscoelasticity" (J. Chem. Phys. 123, 034902, 2005) ).
"Tube Model for the Elasticity of Entangled Nematic Rubbers" (Euro. Phys. J. E 6, 221, 2001).

The recent activity on dynamic-mechanical studies of liquid-crystal elastomers has produced a number of interesting results - there are fundamental issues of relaxation times, Master curves and coupled degrees of freedom, but also the immediate practical impact in the area of acoustics and mechanical damping (and a couple of patents too). There are newer papers but these give the flavour.
"Anomalous viscoelastic response of nematic elastomers" (Phys. Rev. Lett. v.86, 4044, 2001)
"Linear hydrodynamics and viscoelasticity of nematic elastomers" (Euro. Phys. J. E v.4, 343, 2001)
"Long stress relaxation in polyacrylate nematic liquid crystalline elastomers" (J. Phys. Cond. Mat. 13, 11453, 2001).

On a subject of sheer beauty, check out these:

(no! - these brushes have nothing to do with polymer crystallisation into lamellar spherulites, as you might have been thinking...)
In fact very little can beat seing science through the eyes of a professional artist: see the website of Karen Neill

Back to Homepage...