Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of
Date of this Version
Micro & Nano Letters 6:6 (2011), pp. 408–411; doi: 10.1049/mnl.2011.0167
Electrospinning produces continuous fibers with diameters from single nanometers to microns by jetting polymer solutions in high electric fields. Electrospun non-woven filamentary materials attract rapidly growing interest for broad range of applications. Properties of these materials depend on their nano- and microstructure that is determined in turn by the electric field and nanofiber collector. Despite critical importance, deposition of electrospun fibers on substrates has not yet been extensively studied theoretically and new methods of nanofiber collection continue to be developed mostly empirically. The objective of this Letter was to develop and demonstrate numerical simulation of electrospun nanofiber deposition on moving collectors. A dynamic model of nanofiber deposition onto a fast rotating drum was developed and used to simulate partial nanofiber alignment on this collector. The results were compared with the filamentary deposits in two classical stationary collection methods. Good agreement with experimental observations demonstrated predictive ability of simulations. The developed models can be used for the analysis of mechanisms of fiber deposition and alignment on substrates in various electric fields. Better understanding of dynamic nanofiber interaction with the electric field and collectors can lead to improved collector devices enabling one-step integrated nanomanufacturing of the designer nanofilamentary assemblies and architectures.
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