Geometry of thin nematic elastomer sheets

Hillel Aharoni, Eran Sharon, Raz Kupferman

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106 Scopus citations


A thin sheet of nematic elastomer attains 3D configurations depending on the nematic director field upon heating. In this Letter, we describe the intrinsic geometry of such a sheet and derive an expression for the metric induced by general nematic director fields. Furthermore, we investigate the reverse problem of constructing a director field that induces a specified 2D geometry. We provide an explicit recipe for how to construct any surface of revolution using this method. Finally, we show that by inscribing a director field gradient across the sheet's thickness, one can obtain a nontrivial hyperbolic reference curvature tensor, which together with the prescription of a reference metric allows dictation of actual configurations for a thin sheet of nematic elastomer.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number257801
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - 17 Dec 2014

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© 2014 American Physical Society.


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