Effective Behavior of Nematic Elastomer Membranes

Pierluigi Cesana, Paul Plucinsky, Kaushik Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We derive the effective energy density of thin membranes of liquid crystal elastomers as the $${\Gamma}$$Γ -limit of a widely used bulk model. These membranes can display fine-scale features both due to wrinkling that one expects in thin elastic membranes and due to oscillations in the nematic director that one expects in liquid crystal elastomers. We provide an explicit characterization of the effective energy density of membranes and the effective state of stress as a function of the planar deformation gradient. We also provide a characterization of the fine-scale features. We show the existence of four regimes: one where wrinkling and microstructure reduces the effective membrane energy and stress to zero, a second where wrinkling leads to uniaxial tension, a third where nematic oscillations lead to equi-biaxial tension and a fourth with no fine scale features and biaxial tension. Importantly, we find a region where one has shear strain but no shear stress and all the fine-scale features are in-plane with no wrinkling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-905
Number of pages43
JournalArchive For Rational Mechanics And Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 4 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


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