Electrospinning of Polymer Nanofibers
Electrospinning is a straightforward method that produces polymer nanofibers*. When the electrical force at the surface of a polymer solution or polymer melt overcomes the surface tension, a charged jets is ejected. The jet extends in a straight line for a certain distance, and then bends and follows a looping and spiraling path. The electrical forces elongate the jet thousands or even millions of times and the jet becomes very thin. Ultimately the solvent evaporates, or the melt solidifies. The resulting, very long, nanofiber collets on an electrically grounded metal sheet.

* H.Fong, D.H.Reneker "Electrospinning and the Formation of Nanofibers"

 

For more details see our publications and PowerPoint presentations

 

Experimantal setup

 

 

Schematic drawing of the electrospinning process

Photo of the experimental setup of the electrospinning process

 

Equipment

  • High Speed Camera (up to 40500 frames per second): FASTCAM Ultima 40K PHOTRON LTD
  • high resolution PIV Camera (resolution 1280 x 1024 pixels): SensiCam PCO CCD IMAGING
  • continous light argon laser (5 W): ILA 120 Argon-Ionen-Laser
  • double pulse laser Nd-Yag (30 mJ per pulse): SoloPIV Nd YAG Lasers, New Wave Research Inc.
  • high voltage power supply adaptor (up to 30 kV)

 

Experiment specification

 

Kind of polymer: polyethylene oxide with a molecular weight of 400000 g/mol and weight concentration of 3% in 40% mixture of etanol and water
Voltage:  ~ 10 kV

 

Visualization of electrospinning process

Click to play movie

Click to play movie

60 fps 4500 fps

 

Structure of Nanofibers

 

     

 

Velocity of the fiber motion, measured by Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV)

 

Photo of the nanofiber
visualized with fluorescent nanoparticles
Photo of the nanofiber with velocity vectors with PIV

(avg. velocity of the fiber :  2 m/s)




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Last update: September 19, 2005