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Preparation of poly(ester imide) ultrafine fibers by gas-jet/electrospinning



In this study, ultrafine fibers of poly(ester imide) (PEI) were produced by gas-jet/electrospinning of its solutions in mixtures of phenol and dichloromethane (DCM). The process parameters, including the solution concentration, gas flow rate, applied voltage, tip-to-collector distance (TCD), and inner diameter of the metal needle, were investigated by scanning electron microscopy. The results show that the solution concentration, gas flow rate, TCD, and inner diameter of the needle were the most important process parameters influencing the average diameter and morphology of the PEI gas-jet/electrospun fibers. An increase in the solution concentration resulted in a larger average diameter in the PEI gas-jet/electrospun fibers. Mixed-bead fibers were obtained when the concentration of PEI in phenol/DCM was below 20 wt % during gas-jet/electrospinning. A larger diameter of the capillary and a smaller gas flow rate favored the formation of ultrafine fibers with thicker fibers. Thinner and uniform PEI fibers with an average diameter of 298 nm were formed at a TCD of 25 cm. On the basis of the systematic parameters study, uniform PEI ultrafine fibers with an average diameter of 293 nm were prepared by this gas-jet/electrospinning with the following optimal process parameters: the concentration of the polymer solution was 20 wt %, the gas flow rate was 10.0 L/min, the applied voltage was 25.0 kV, the TCD was 25 cm, and the inner diameter of the metal needle was 0.24 mm. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009

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