In-Situ Surface Depositing of Nano–Micro-particles on Electrospun Fibers

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A novel process of in-situ production of particle decorated electrospun fibers was developed by generating, charging, and depositing micro–nano-particles onto fibers during the electro-spinning (ES) process. The generation and charge of micro–nano-graphite particles occurred in an ES setup due to the pulverization of a negatively charged carbon brush near the fiber collector. The setup includes an aluminum cylinder rotating at a constant speed and being used to collect the fibers during electrospinning. The cylinder is negatively charged to attract the fibers from a positively charged needle, both charged with high voltages. A carbon brush contacts the cylinder to apply and maintain it connected to the negative voltage while it is rotating. Due to specific orientation and surface roughness, the carbon brush suffered wear which produced a graphite dust cloud around the collector. Nanofiber mats were produced with a unique characteristic appearance, creating as a result graphite coated fiber mat. These fiber mats were analyzed using scanning electron microscopy characterization and imaging. Results led to the discovery of coarse graphite particles embedded uniformly and in great quantities along the produced fibers. Therefore, fiber mats covered with graphite particles in a single-step electrospinning process were created and the method could be expanded to other material systems. This newly discovered in-situ deposition method could be beneficial to future studies about the effects of particle additives on the morphology and properties of the fiber mats for different applications.


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Fibers Polym