Solvent vapor annealing: An efficient approach for inscribing secondary nanostructures onto electrospun fibers

Jianzhao Liu, Adam J.P. Bauer, Bingbing Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solvent vapor annealing (SVA) is originally developed to attain equilibrium nanostructures from microphase-separated block polymer thin films. Interestingly, by carefully choosing a solvent vapor that can selectively mobilize the amorphous chains of a semicrystalline polymer while preserving the integrity of its crystalline structure, this study demonstrates that the SVA method can also be utilized to introduce hierarchical structures onto semicrystalline polymer-based materials. This study on electrospun poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) fibers clearly shows that acetone, a poor solvent for PCL, can effectively delocalize the amorphous chains and redeposit them onto the pre-existing crystal edges, giving rise to secondary nanostructures inscribed onto the PCL fibers. In the past decade, various fiber fabrication methods and numerous fiber products are reported. The easy one-step approach reported here provides new insight into the design and fabrication of structurally hierarchical polymeric materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503-1508
Number of pages6
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
Volume35
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Keywords

  • electrospinning
  • poly(ε-caprolactone)
  • secondary nanostructures
  • solvent vapor annealing

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