Controlled Deposition and Collection of Electro-spun Poly(ethylene oxide) Fibers.

Report No. ARL-TR-2415
Authors: Joseph M. Deitzel, James D. Kleinmeyer, James K. Hirvonen and Nora C. Beck Tan
Date/Pages: March 2001; 27 pages
Abstract: Electro-spinning is a process by which sub-micron polymer fibers can be produced with an electrostatically driven jet of polymer solution (or polymer melt). Electro-spun fibers are typically collected in the form of non-woven mats, which are of interest for a variety of applications, including semi-permeable membranes, filters, composite reinforcement, and scaffolding used in tissue engineering. A characteristic feature of the electro-spinning process is the onset of a chaotic oscillation of the electro-spinning jet. The current work demonstrates the feasibility of dampening this instability and controlling the deposition of sub-micron polymer fibers (<300 nm in diameter) on a substrate through use of an electrostatic lens element and collection target of opposite polarity. Real-time observations of the electro-spinning process have been made with high speed, high magnification imaging techniques. Fiber mats and yarns electro-spun from polyethylene oxide have been analyzed by wide angle electron diffraction optical microscopy and environmental electron microscopy.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2001