Technology Reviews

Nanomanufacturing Using Electrospinning

[+] Author and Article Information
Leon M. Bellan, Harold G. Craighead

School of Applied and Engineering Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 131(3), 034001 (May 19, 2009) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3123342 History: Received December 14, 2008; Revised March 18, 2009; Published May 19, 2009

Electrospinning has become a popular technique for fabricating nanofibers from a variety of materials and has been tailored for a multitude of applications. These nanofibers may be used as devices (e.g., biosensors, field effect transistors (FETs), and resonators) or may be used to fabricate nanoscale features in other materials. Several methods for controlling the orientation of deposited fibers have been demonstrated, including linear and rotary mechanical motion, using prepatterned electrodes on a substrate to attract the fibers, and using electric fields to alter the path of the electrospinning jet in-flight. Electrospinning systems employing more complex tip geometries have been investigated. Several techniques have been developed to overcome the problem of low mass throughput, including using large arrays of electrospinning tips fed by the same solution and various tipless electrospinning techniques. The electrospinning tip has also been modified to produce either side-by-side or coaxial multicomponent fibers and tubes. The mechanism by which the fluid jet solidifies into fibers has also been varied, and though most electrospinning experiments still rely upon in-flight solvent evaporation for solidification, melt electrospinning and in-flight polymerization have also been investigated. This article will review recent developments in electrospinning techniques and applications.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

(a) Illustration of standard electrospinning apparatus and (b) an example of a fiber mat produced by an electrospinning process. This image is of polyethylene oxide nanofibers electrospun from a water/ethanol solution (20% 100 000Mw polymer in 50/50 water/ethanol by volume).

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Figure 2

(a) Polyaniline nanofiber-based NH3 sensor,+ (b) suspended glass nanofiber beam resonator,† and (c) suspended nanochannels fabricated using a sacrificial electrospun nanofiber.‡ + Reprinted with permission from Liu, H. Q., Kameoka, J., Czaplewski, D. A., and Craighead, H. G., Nano Lett., 4, pp. 671–675 (2004), Copyright 2004, American Chemical Society. † Reprinted with permission from Kameoka, J., Verbridge, S. S., Liu, H. Q., Czaplewski, D. A., and Craighead, H. G., Nano Lett., 4, pp. 2105–2108 (2004). Copyright 2004, American Chemical Society.‡ Reused with permission from Verbridge, S. S., Edel, J. B., Stavis, S. M., Moran-Mirabal, J. M., Allen, S. D., Coates, G., and Craighead, H. G., J. Appl. Phys., 97, 124317 (2005). Copyright 2005, American Institute of Physics.

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Figure 3

(a) Illustration of scanned electrospinning apparatus employing rotational sample motion for deposition of aligned fibers. A sharp etched Si tip holds a droplet of electrospinning solution and is electrified, producing a jet. The tip is scanned over a rotating substrate, effectively depositing spirals of fiber. Any possible whipping is not indicated in this figure. (b) Example of a pattern of fluorescent fibers deposited using scanned electrospinning. The inset is a scanning electron microscopy image of the junction of two fibers.**Kameoka, J., Czaplewski, D., Liu, H. Q., and Craighead, H. G., J. Mater. Chem. 14, pp. 1503–1505 (2004). Reproduced with the permission of The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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Figure 4

Illustration of an apparatus to control an electrospinning jet using time-varying electric fields. The electrospinning source is held at a potential Vtip, and a collecting sample is grounded. When all four electrodes are at Vfoc, the jet deposits fibers in the default position. When the voltage on one electrode is lowered from Vfoc to Vlow, the jet is attracted to that electrode and deposits a fiber in a line.




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