• degree of polymerization (DP);
  • fibers;
  • nanocomposites;
  • nanotechnology;
  • water-soluble polymers


Poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)/silver composite nanofibers were successfully prepared by the electrospinning method. Water-based colloidal silver in a PVA solution was directly mixed without any chemical or structural modifications into PVA polymer fibers to form organic–inorganic composite nanofibers. The ratio of silver colloidal solution to PVA played an important role in the formation of the PVA/silver composite nanofibers. We prepared two different atactic PVA/silver nanocomposites with number-average degrees of polymerization of 1700 and 4000 through electrospinning with various processing parameters, such as initial polymer concentration, amount of silver colloidal solution, applied voltage, and tip-to-collector distance. The PVA/silver composite nanofibers were characterized by field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). TEM images showed that silver nanoparticles with an average diameter of 30–50 nm were obtained and were well distributed in the PVA nanofibers. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010