Electrospinning of nanofibers: analysis of diameter distribution and process dynamics for control
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Electrospinning employs electrostatic force to stretch a charged polymer solution jet and is capable of producing submicron diameter fibers. There has been considerable interest in electrospun fibers due to the ease with which nanometer-scale fibers can be produced from a wide range of polymers. In many applications, the average electrospun fiber diameter and its uniformity have important implications for the product's performance and process economics. Thus, it is desirable to develop electrospinning capability to achieve consistent and controllable fiber diameters. However, the current state-of-the-art electrospinning process results in varying diameter both during a run and runto- run. In addition, the relations of the process and material parameters to the resulting fiber diameter characteristics are not completely understood. This research focuses on understanding what determines the fiber diameter distribution and developing the knowledge base for design of a fiber diameter control system in order to achieve a consistent and repeatable process. [TRUNCATED]
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