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Modeling Nanoparticle Dispersion in Electrospun Nanofibers

The quality of nanoparticle dispersion in a polymer matrix significantly influences the macroscopic properties of the composite material. Like general polymer–nanoparticle composites, electrospun nanofiber nanoparticle composites do not have an adopted quantitative model for dispersion throughout the polymer matrix, often relying on a qualitative assessment. Being such an influential property, quantifying dispersion is essential for the process of optimization and understanding the factors influencing dispersion. Here, a simulation model was developed to quantify the effects of nanoparticle volume loading (ϕ) and fiber-to-particle diameter ratios (D/d) on the dispersion in an electrospun nanofiber based on the interparticle distance. A dispersion factor is defined to quantify the dispersion along the polymer fiber. In the dilute regime (ϕ < 20%), three distinct regions of the dispersion factor were defined with the highest quality dispersion shown to occur when geometric constraints limit fiber volume acc...

Authors:   Christopher Balzer; Mitchell Armstrong; Bohan Shan; Yingjie Huang; Jichang Liu; Bin Mu
Journal:   Langmuir
Year:   2018
DOI:   10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b03726
Publication date:   18-Jan-2018
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