Flexible Organic-Inorganic Core-Shell Nanofibers by Electrospinning and Atomic Layer Deposition

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We report on the fabrication of organic-inorganic core-shell nanofibers by using two-step approach; electrospinning and atomic layer deposition (ALD). In the first step, nylon (polymeric organic core) nanofibers having different average fiber diameters were electrospun by using different solvent systems and polymer concentrations. In the second step, uniform and conformal layer of zinc oxide (ZnO) (inorganic shell) with precise thickness (~90 nm) and composition on the round surface of the nylon nanofibers were deposited by ALD. The morphological, structural and chemical analyses of core-shell nylon66-ZnO nanofiber were performed by using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, energy dispersive X-ray and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The core-shell nylon-ZnO nanofibers have shown unique properties such as structural flexibility due to the polymeric core and photocatalytic activity due to the ZnO shell layer. The photocatalytic activity of the core-shell nylon-ZnO nanowebs were tested by monitoring the photocatalytic decomposition of organic dye molecule (rhodamine-B). Nylon-ZnO nanowebs having thinner fiber diameter have shown better photocatalytic efficiency due to higher surface area. Our findings suggested that these core-shell nylon-ZnO nanowebs can be used as a membrane material for water purification because of their photocatalytic properties and their structural flexibility and stability.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Nanotechnology 2012: Advanced Materials, CNTs, Particles, Films and Composites (Volume 1)
Published: June 18, 2012
Pages: 686 - 689
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications, Coatings, Surfaces & Membranes
ISBN: 978-1-4665-6274-5