On the electrospinning of PVDF: influence of the experimental conditions on the nanofiber properties


Orietta Monticelli, Dipartimento di Chimica e Chimica Industriale Università di Genova, Via Dodecaneso 31, 16146 Genova, Italy. E-mail: orietta.monticelli@chimica.unige.it


The characteristics of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) nanofibers, prepared by applying the electrospinning technique from N,N-dimethylformamide/acetone mixtures, were studied by varying the experimental conditions. The nanofiber morphology was assessed by scanning electron microscopy, while wide angle X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy were performed to study the crystallinity. The influence of the electrospinning conditions, such as kind of solvent mixture, polymer concentration, voltage tension, airflow and humidity, on nanofiber morphology was studied. In particular, the latter parameter, generally not considered, was found to modify the electrospun mat structure in a relevant way. Generally, the above technique turns out to be capable of strongly affecting the polymorphism of the polymer, namely β phase formation was higher in the electrospun mats compared with cast films, which displayed a non-polar α crystal phase. As far as the influence of the electrospinning conditions on PVDF crystal structure is concerned, modification of the experimental parameters did not affect the α/β ratio. Nevertheless, comparing the behavior of two commercial PVDF samples with similar molecular masses, our results show that the polymer which forms a higher content of β phase in its cast films allowed electrospun mats characterized by almost complete formation of β phase to be obtained. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry