J. Phys. II France
Volume 4, Numéro 6, June 1994
Page(s) 1033 - 1048
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1994182
J. Phys. II France 4 (1994) 1033-1048

SANS study of deformation and relaxation of a comb-like liquid crystal polymer in the nematic phase

A. Brûlet1, F. Boué1, P. Keller1, P. Davidson2, C. Strazielle3 and J. P. Cotton1

1  Laboratoire Léon Brillouin (CEA-CNRS), CE-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
2  Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Bât. 510, Université Paris XI, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
3  ICS-CRM, 6 rue Boussingault, 67083 Strasbourg, France

(Received 14 October 1993, received in final form 17 February 1994, accepted 23 February 1994)

A comb-like liquid crystal polymer is stretched and quenched after a certain time in the nematic phase. The conformation of the deformed chain is determined using small angle neutron scattering (SANS) as a function of the temperature of stretching, the stretching ratio and the duration of the relaxation. The scattering data are well fitted to junction affine and phantom network models. Some data are even well fitted by a totally affine model that we call " pseudo affine " because the only parameter, the stretching ratio, is found to be well below the macroscopic stretching ratio. The latter result, never encountered with amorphous polymers, is attributed to the cooperative effects of the nematic phase. We also note that the form factors of the chain in the underformed sample remain similar in the isotropic, nematic and glassy state ; they correspond to a Gaussian chain. The same samples were studied by wide angle X-ray scattering. On one hand, the orientation of the mesogenic groups is found to be parallel or perpendicular to the stretching direction depending on the stretching temperature. This result is discussed as a function of the presence of smectic fluctuations. On the other hand, longer relaxations at constant elongation ratio do not lead to a disorganization of the mesogenic group orientation whereas the polymer chains are partly relaxed.

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