Influence of Comesogens on the Thermal and Actuation Properties of 2-tert-Butyl-1,4-bis[4-(4-pentenyloxy)benzoyl]hydroquinone Based Nematic Main-Chain Liquid Crystalline Elastomers


Although the shape-changing capabilities of LCEs hold great potential for applications ranging from micropumps to artificial muscles, customization of the LCE functionality to the applications' requirements is still a challenge. It is studied whether the orientation of NMC-LCPs and NMC-LCEs based on 2-tert-butyl-1,4-bis[4-(4-pentenyloxy)benzoyl]hydroquinone can be enhanced by copolymerization with 2-methyl-1,4-bis[4-(4-pentenyloxy)benzoyl]hydroquinone or 2,6-bis[4-(4-pentenyl-oxy)-benzoyl]anthracene. An increasing content of the comonomers stabilizes the nematic phase, which enables a tailoring of TNI for the NMC-LCP between 45 and 68 °C, while for the NMC-LCE TNI ranges between 69 and 76 °C. In addition, NMC-LCE show an increased actuation performance.
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