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Electrospinning water-soluble/insoluble polymer blends

Faculty of Engineering and Mathematics, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany

Topical Section: Nanomaterials, nanoscience and nanotechnology

Electrospun nanofiber mats can be used, e.g., as filter materials, in biotechnological and medical applications, as precursors for the preparation of carbon nanofibers, etc. In most cases, the large surface-to-volume ratio and correspondingly large contact area with the environment is utilized. This ratio can even be further increased by introducing nanostructures into the nanofibers. One possibility to modify the morphology of the nanofibers or the whole mats is based on the introduction of water-soluble additions in spinning solutions of insoluble polymers and afterwards washing them out. In this paper, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofiber mats were blended with eight water-soluble polymers to test which blends are spinnable and result in which modifications of the single nanofibers and the nanofiber mats. Optical examination shows a broad range of possible morphologies which can be gained in this way, paving the way to tailoring the desired geometric properties of PAN nanofiber mats.
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