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Modelling small angle neutron scattering data from electrospun fibres

By Saeed D Mohan, Fred J. Davis, Robert H. Olley and Geoffrey R. Mitchell


Electrospinning is a technique employed to produce nanoscale to microscale sized fibres by the application of a high voltage to a spinneret containing a polymer solution. Here we examine how small angle neutron scattering data can be modelled to analyse the polymer chain conformation. We prepared 1:1 blends of deuterated and hydrogenated atactic-polystyrene fibres from solutions in N, N-Dimethylformamide and Methyl Ethyl Ketone. The fibres themselves often contain pores or voiding within the internal structure on the length scales that can interfere with scattering experiments. A model to fit the scattering data in order to obtain values for the radius of gyration of the polymer molecules within the fibres has been developed, that includes in the scattering from the voids. Using this model we find that the radius of gyration is 20% larger than in the bulk state and the chains are slightly extended parallel to the fibre axis.\u

Year: 2010
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