Monday, 11 October 2004 - 5:35 PM

This presentation is part of : Graduate Student Competition

Electric Field-Assisted Nanofabrication of Highly Oriented Electrospun Nanofibers

Lihua Liu and Yuris Dzenis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Lincoln, NE 68588

Electrospinning is a process in which fibers are produced from a polymeric solution electrified in high electric fields. As a result of the bending instability of highly charged jet, electrospun nanofibers are usually collected as random oriented structures, which are disadvantageous for some applications, such as molecular-electronic devices and functional nanoscale photonic structures. In this paper, we analyze a novel Electric Field-Assisted method of fabrication of oriented nanofibers. The method utilizes an oscillating secondary field. Numerical simulations are conducted on this nanofabrication technique. In this numerical model, the electrified jets were represented by series of charges e and masses m connected by viscoelastic elements. The dynamics equations were derived and solved. Parametric studies were conducted that showed that the alignment of electrospun nanofibers was strongly dependent on the frequency of the applied AC electric field. We fabricated highly oriented electrospun nanofibers by using the AC electric fields with certain frequencies to control the motion of the charged polymer jets. Experimental results verified numerical predictions. The results demonstrated that this technique is effective to assembly highly oriented electrospun fibers. The technique can be modified and used for controlled fabrication of layered and other 3D nanofiber assemblies.

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