Electrospinning is a technique used to manufacture continuous fibers with diameters in the sub-micrometer to the nanometer range using a high voltage power supply.
Figure 1: A schematic diagram of an electrospinning apparatus.
In the electrospinning process, a polymer solution placed in a syringe is subjected to a high-voltage power supply and the volume feed rate controlled using a capillary pump. Above a certain voltage value, the repulsive electric force overcomes the surface tension of the polymer solution, which is ejected from the tip to a collector. On the way to the collector, the polymers solution jet solidifies thanks to the fast solvent evaporation and finally deposits on the surface of the collector, creating non-woven fabrics on it.
Nanofiber mats are nanoporous materials that find important applications in industry such as in filtration membranes, composite materials, biomedical materials. For instance, they are currently widely investigated for the production of scaffolds for tissue regeneration.
Figure 2: Scanning electron microscopy of an electrospun nanofiber mat.