Method for the Production of Conductive Polymer Nanofibers and Nanofiber Composites
ARMY RESEARCH LAB ADELPHI MD SENSORS AND ELECTRON DEVICES DIRECTORATE
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Palladium ion-containing polyamic acid nanofibers have been made using an electrospinning process. The fibers are approx. 500 nm in size and have high aspect ratios. Electrospinning is a process which uses an electrostatically driven jet of polymer fluid solution or melt to generate submicron - nanometer scale diameter polymer fibers. Typically, a voltage is applied to the fluid which is pumped through a spinnerette. The spinnerette can be a glass pipette, a syringe needle, or simply a hole in a conductive plate. Typical flow rates are very slow, and range from 0.5 to a few tens of mLhour. Prior to application of the voltage, a drop of fluid will form at the end of the spinnerette. Once the voltage is applied, the drop deforms into the shape of a cone in the presence of the resulting electric field. When the electric field strength at the tip of this cone exceeds a critical value, a jet of fluid will erupt from the apex of the cone and proceed to the nearest target that is at a lower electrical potential, usually a collection plate or drum that is electrically grounded. The goal of the proposed effort will be to use the electrospinning process to fabricate submicron - nanoscale diameter polyimide fibers doped with palladium ions, then to thermally imidize the fibers to produce structures similar to that seen in the film form of the doped resin, Figure 1.
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