Electrospinning jets as X-ray sources at atmospheric conditions
Department of Nonwoven Textiles - Nanoscience Centre, Faculty of Textile Engineering, Technical University of Liberec - Studentská 2, Liberec 1, 461 17, Czech Republic, EU
Accepted: 27 October 2010
Electrospinning jets producing nanofibres from a polymer solution by electrical forces are fine cylindrical electrodes that create extremely high electric-field strength in their vicinity at atmospheric conditions. However, this quality of electrospinning is only scarcely investigated, and the interactions of the electric fields generated by them with ambient gases are nearly unknown. Here we report on the discovery that electrospinning jets generate X-ray beams up to energies of 20 keV at atmospheric conditions. The X-ray nature of the detected radiation is incontrovertibly proved by a spectroscopic experiment. We hypothesize how the field strength increases to gigantic values in the vicinity of charged electrospinning jets, as a consequence of counterion condensation, to accelerate charged particles, at a short distance, comparable with their mean path at atmospheric pressure, up to kinetic energies that give rise to the detection of X-rays. The experimental set-up designed by us for the generation and detection of high-energy electromagnetic radiation from electrospinning is extremely simple.
PACS: 79.60.-i – Photoemission and photoelectron spectra / 81.07.-b – Nanoscale materials and structures: fabrication and characterization / 52.38.Ph – X-ray, γ-ray, and particle generation
© EPLA, 2010