Electrospun supramolecular polymer fibres
Hermida-Merino, D., Belal, M., Greenland, B. W., Woodward, P., Slark, A. T., Davis, F. J., Mitchell, G. R., Hamley, I. W. and Hayes, W. (2012) Electrospun supramolecular polymer fibres. European Polymer Journal, 48 (7). pp. 1249-1255. ISSN 0014-3057
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2012.04.015
The electrospinning of urethane based low molecular weight polymers differing only in the nature of the hydrogen bonding end-groups has been investigated. For the end-groups with the lowest binding constants at maximum solubility only droplets, are produced at the electrode; in contrast, increasing the binding constant of the end-group results in electrospun fibres being produced. The properties of the fibres produced are subject to changes in solvent, concentration and temperature. Typical diameters for these fibres were found to be some 10 s of μm, rather than the sub-micron dimensions often produced in electrospinning systems. Such diameters are related to the high initial concentrations required; this also may influence the rate of solvent removal and preferential surface solidification which feature in these examples. A simple theoretical model is used to relate the association constant to the molecular weight required for fibre formation; significantly lower levels of association are required for higher molecular weight macromonomers compared to smaller molecular systems.