Electrospun nanofibers with surface oriented lamellar patterns and their potential applications†
This work shows conclusively that lamellar surface patterns can be obtained with diverse ceramic compositions during electrospinning. The lamellar structure formation is governed by the creation of an outer shell during the thermal treatment of initially uniform cylindrical fibers, consisting of polymer and pre-ceramic compounds. By changing the polymer to pre-ceramic ratio in the electrospinning solution, we demonstrate for the first time a facile way to control the obtained surface structure and the orientation of the lamellas. Furthermore, the lamellar morphology was illustrated in seven different compositions. This report provides a new pathway to obtain unique surface patterns in metal–oxide nanofibers and demonstrates their utilization in different applications. Specifically, we demonstrate the prospect of utilizing Ni–Al–O fibers with lamellar structures as alternative Li-ion battery anodes. In addition, we show the potential of Fe–Al–O fibers as an effective catalyst material.