Preparation and characterization of crosslinked electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) nanofibrous membranes

Jeffrey A. Quinn, Yi Yang, Alexander N. Buffington, Felicia N. Romero, Matthew Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Membranes prepared by electrospinning nonwoven mats have been receiving an increasing amount of interest recently with potential applications as water filtration membranes, drug delivery mats, and environmental sensors. Innovations in membrane processing and characteristics enabled by electrospinning could impact the industry. In this investigation, we demonstrate the effects of changing the chain length of an α,ω-bis(2-carboxymethyl)poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG diacid) crosslinker on the physical properties of electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) nanofibrous mats. Analysis of as-spun PVA mats showed average fiber diameters of 0.13 ± 0.02 μm with average pore areas of 1.67 ± 0.51 μm2. Average fiber diameters for mats crosslinked with a shorter PEG diacid (Mn = 250) were 0.20 ± 0.04 μm with average pore areas of 0.64 ± 0.18 μm2. Similarly, mats crosslinked with a longer PEG diacid (Mn = 600) had average fiber diameters of 0.22 ± 0.04 μm with average pore areas of 0.44 ± 0.23 μm2. Further studies on the durability of the mats showed dramatic improvements in the Young's modulus, the stress at break, and the strain at break that increased with the length of the crosslinker. Developing further knowledge regarding the enhancement and control of electrospun membranes can help improve the field of electrospun membranes with great potential for water purification and can reveal new opportunities for existing technologies moving forward.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-281
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer (United Kingdom)
Volume134
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 3 2018

Keywords

  • Crosslinked membranes
  • Electrospinning
  • Nanofiber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

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