Solution electrospinning of particle-polymer composite fibres
Department of Physics and Nanotechnology, Aalborg University, Skjernvej 4, 9220
Aalborg E, Denmark
* Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 15 July 2016
Electrospinning is a fast, simple way to produce nano/microfibers, resulting in porous mats with a high surface to volume ratio. Another material with high surface to volume ratio is aerogel. A drawback of aerogels is its inherent mechanical weakness. To counteract this, aerogels can be embedded into scaffolds. The formation of a particle/polymer composite results in improved mechanical stability, without compromising the porosity. In the presented study, aerogel and poly(ethylene oxide) are mixed into a solution, and spun to thin fibres. Thereby a porous membrane, on the micro- and nano-scale, is produced. The maximum polymer-silica weight-ratio yielding stable fibres has also been determined. The morphology of the fibres at different weight ratios has been investigated by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscope (SEM). Low aerogel concentrations yield few particles located in polymer fibres, whereas higher amounts resulted in fibres dominated by the aerogel particle diameters. The diameters of these fibres were in the range between 13 um to 41 um. The flowrate dependence of the fibre diameter was evaluated for polymer solutions with high particle contents. The self-supporting abilities of these fibres are discussed. It is concluded that selfsupporting polymer/aerogel composites can be made by electrospinning.
Key words: Electrospinning / Composite fibres / Poly(ethylene oxide) / Aerogel particles
© L. Christiansen and P. Fojan, Published by EDP Sciences, 2016
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.