Volume 84, Number 5, December 2008
Article Number 56002
Number of page(s) 6
Section Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
Published online 12 December 2008
EPL, 84 (2008) 56002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/84/56002

Confinement-induced super strong PS/MWNT composite nanofibers

Y. Ji1, C. Li1, G. Wang1, J. Koo1, S. Ge1, B. Li1, J. Jiang1, B. Herzberg2, T. Klein2, S. Chen3, J. C. Sokolov1 and M. H. Rafailovich1

1   Department of Materials Science, SUNY at Stony Brook - Stony Brook, NY 11794-2275, USA
2   SKA High School for Girls - Hewlett Bay Park, NY 11557, USA
3   Department of Chemical and Molecular Engineering, SUNY at Stony Brook - Stony Brook, NY 11794-2275, USA

received 30 July 2008; accepted in final form 30 October 2008; published December 2008
published online 12 December 2008

Shear Modulation Force Microscopy (SMFM) together with the Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) based three-point bending technique were used to measure the mechanical properties of electrospun polymers and polymer nanocomposite fibers. Both techniques showed that the moduli of the fibers increased significantly with decreasing fiber diameter. We attributed this enhancement to the orientation of polymer chains which occurs during the electrospinning process. We then predicted, and confirmed experimentally, that the phenomenon scales with Rg rather than with the absolute fiber diameter and can propagate radially for large distances (~ 20Rg) into the fiber interior. The inclusion of nanotubes into the fibers further enhanced the orientation by introducing additional surfaces. The additional increase in modulus (more than an order of magnitude) could then be explained by the same model and scaled on a universal curve .

62.23.Pq - Composites (nanosystems embedded in a larger structure).
68.37.Ps - Atomic force microscopy (AFM).

© EPLA 2008