Main chain liquid crystal elastomers exhibit several interesting phenomena, such as three different regimes of elastic response, unconventional stress-strain relationship in one of these regimes, and the shape memory effect. Investigations are beginning to reveal relationships between their macroscopic behavior and the nature of domain structure, microscopic smectic phase structure, relaxation mechanism, and sample history. These aspects of liquid crystal elastomers are briefly reviewed followed by a summary of the results of recent elastic and high-resolution X-ray diffraction studies of the shape memory effect and the dynamics of the formation of the smectic-C chevron-like layer structure. A possible route to realizing auxetic effect at molecular level is also discussed.
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