Effect of relative humidity on the morphology of electrospun polymer fibers

Mattoso, Luiz H. C.; Offeman, Richard D.; Wood, Delilah F.; Orts, William J.; Medeiros, Eliton S.
June 2008
Canadian Journal of Chemistry;Jun2008, Vol. 86 Issue 6, p590
Academic Journal
The effect of relative humidity on the morphology of electrospun fibers of poly(vinyl alcohol), poly(methyl methacrylate), poly(vinyl chloride), polystyrene, and poly(lactic acid) dissolved in solvents such as toluene, N,N-dimethylformamide, 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol, and deionized water was studied by scanning electron microscopy to investigate the factors that may contribute to pore formation. Results showed that the presence of pores depends on factors such as the type of polymers used, the polymer–solvent combination, molecular weight, and the size of the electrospun structure. The final morphology developed implies a competition between the dynamics of phase separation and the rate of solvent evaporation. In addition, continuous solvent evaporation and constant stretching owing to the electric potential difference give rise to the final shape of porous electrospun fibers.


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