J. Phys. II France
Volume 5, Numéro 6, June 1995
Page(s) 877 - 882
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1995163
J. Phys. II France 5 (1995) 877-882

Piezoelectricity of Cholesteric Elastomers

Robert A. Pelcovits1 and Robert B. Meyer1

1  The Martin Fisher School of Physics, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts 02254, USA and Department of Physics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA

(Received 22 December 1994, received in final form 8 February 1995, accepted 15 February 1995)

We consider theoretically the properties of piezoelectricity in cholesteric elastomers. We deduce using symmetry considerations the piezoelectric contributions to the free energy in the context of a coarse-grained description of the material. In contrast to previous work we find that compressions or elongations of the material along the pitch axis do not produce a piezoelectric response, in agreement with fundamental symmetry considerations. Rather only suitable shear strains or local rotations produce a polarization. We propose some molecular mechanisms to explain these effects.

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