Motion and locomotion of liquid crystal elastomers and networks

Peter Palffy-Muhoray

Liquid Crystal Institute

Kent State University




Liquid crystal elastomers and networks (LCEs) and can exhibit strikingly unusual motion and locomotion when activated by light, heat or the presence of chemicals. The response originates in volume conserving changes of sample shape, and locomotion is associated with a localized source of energy/excitation. I will discuss some simple examples of translation and rotation originating in shape changes, and indicate unusual aspects of the dynamics. Examples from experiments will be presented, together with models and model predictions. The potential and actual energy conversion efficiency of LCE motors will be discussed.