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Keywords:

  • electrospinning;
  • nanofibers;
  • nanotubes;
  • nonwovens;
  • polymers

Abstract

Electrospinning is a highly versatile method to process solutions or melts, mainly of polymers, into continuous fibers with diameters ranging from a few micrometers to a few nanometers. This technique is applicable to virtually every soluble or fusible polymer. The polymers can be chemically modified and can also be tailored with additives ranging from simple carbon-black particles to complex species such as enzymes, viruses, and bacteria. Electrospinning appears to be straightforward, but is a rather intricate process that depends on a multitude of molecular, process, and technical parameters. The method provides access to entirely new materials, which may have complex chemical structures. Electrospinning is not only a focus of intense academic investigation; the technique is already being applied in many technological areas.