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Issue 9, 2011
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Chain extension in electrospun polystyrene fibres: a SANS study

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Small angle neutron scattering techniques were used to quantify the size and shape of the chain conformation in electrospun fibres of atactic polystyrene prepared from solutions in methyl ethyl ketone. Aligned arrays of fibres were collected onto a rotating collector with tangential velocity varying between 0 ms−1 and ∼15 ms−1. The measured radii of gyration of the polystyrene chains were found to be slightly higher than that expected for samples prepared from solutions in the concentrated regime. The ratio of the radius of gyration parallel and perpendicular to the chain axis was found to be ∼1.05 in contrast to the substantial macroscopic shape transformation intrinsic to electrospinning. When the tangential velocity of the rotating collector was greater than the flight velocity of the fibres (ca. 4 ms−1), a further extension of the polymer chains was observed with a ratio of the radii of gyration increasing to 1.20 at the highest collector speeds. It is proposed that the heterogeneous processes involved, particularly solvent evaporation and the formation of a polymer skin during electrospinning play a significant role in determining the level of molecular anisotropy in the fibres.

Graphical abstract: Chain extension in electrospun polystyrene fibres: a SANS study

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Dec 2010, accepted on 15 Feb 2011 and first published on 17 Mar 2011

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01442G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 4397-4404
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    Chain extension in electrospun polystyrene fibres: a SANS study

    S. D. Mohan, G. R. Mitchell and F. J. Davis, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 4397
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01442G

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