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A facile approach to fabricate porous nylon 6 nanofibers using silica nanotemplate

Authors

  • Quan Shi,

    1. Fiber and Polymer Science Program, Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8301
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  • Narendiran Vitchuli,

    1. Fiber and Polymer Science Program, Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8301
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  • Liwen Ji,

    1. Fiber and Polymer Science Program, Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8301
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  • Joshua Nowak,

    1. Department of Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7909
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  • Marian McCord,

    1. Fiber and Polymer Science Program, Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8301
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  • Mohamed Bourham,

    1. Department of Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7909
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  • Xiangwu Zhang

    Corresponding author
    1. Fiber and Polymer Science Program, Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8301
    • Fiber and Polymer Science Program, Department of Textile Engineering, Chemistry and Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-8301
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Abstract

Porous Nylon 6 nanofibers were prepared using silica nanoparticles as the template. Firstly, Nylon 6/silica composite nanofibers were prepared as precursors by electrospinning Nylon 6 solutions containing different contents of silica nanoparticles. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to examine the surface morphology and the inner structure of composite nanofibers; where it was found that silica nanoparticles were distributed both inside and on the surface of nanofibers. Analytical techniques [Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry, thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and wide-angle X-ray diffraction) were used to study the structure and properties of these composite nanofibers. The glass transition, melting, and crystallization processes of the fibers were affected by the addition of silica nanoparticles. Secondly, porous Nylon 6 nanofibers were obtained by removing silica nanoparticles via hydrofluoric acid treatment. The removal of silica nanoparticles was confirmed using FTIR and TGA tests. SEM and TEM observations revealed the formation of the porous structure in these nanofibers. After the formation of the porous structure, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller specific surface areas of nanofibers were increased as compared to solid Nylon 6 and composite nanofibers. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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