Effect of Polymer Concentrations on Pores Mechanism in Electrospun Fibre

Article | Published May, 2022

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Advanced material science has resulted in materials with atomic-scale dimensions whose tremendous application includes filtration, drug delivery, membrane, sensor, and encapsulation. Nanoporous fibre has been formed using temperature-induced phase separation (TIPS) and vapour-induced phase separation (VIPS) mechanism, but polymer concentration has been underestimated in the electrospinning parameter. This work aims at showcasing the effect of electrospinning parameters including polymer concentration and resultant phases on pore formation on fibre. Pore formation in electrospun fibre was carried out by electrospinning expanded polystyrene (EPS). The surface morphology of the resulting nanoporous fibre was characterized with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) while the pore distribution was analyzed with a BET (Brunauer, Emmet, Teller) micromeritics analyzer. From the result, an increased concentration of polymer from 10% decreased bead population to zero, meanwhile, bombardment with high electrostatic power resulted in beaded fibres at 10% and 15%w/v. Further increase in EPS concentration resulted in beadless fibres and electrospun 20%EPS fibre at 8.5kV resulted in porous fibre with meso, micro and macropores. At 11.5kV, pore dimension in fibre reduced with predominant pore width less than 100nm. An increased voltage to 13.5kV resulted in morphologies showing brittled fibre probably due to excess pores formed. Conclusively, polymer concentration moderates variables interaction that resulted in phase separation which controls fibre orientation. Therefore, pore formation does not solely depend on TIPS, VIPS, and breath figures but also polymer concentration.