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Fabrication of Micro-Nano Structure Nanofibers by Solvent Etching

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Micro-Nano structure nanofibrous affinity membranes of poly(ether sulfones) (PES) blended with a functional polymer poly(ethyleneimine) (PEI) were fabricated by electrospinning technique followed by solvent etching in crosslinking solution. The surface SEM image of the water washed PES/PEI nanofibrous membrane confirmed that PEI was concentrated on the fiber surface. The nanofibrous PES/PEI membranes were crosslinked in a mixture of acetone and water with glutaraldehyde (crosslinking agent, GA), and the micro-nano structural surface of the nanofibrous membranes was created by solvent etching due to the solvation between PEI and the solvent water in the crosslinking solution during the crosslinking process. The influence of the component of the crosslinking bath on the mophology of the resulting PES/PEI nanofibers was investigated. It was found that the relatively uniform micro-nano spherules grew on the surface of the nanofibers when the content of water in crosslinking solution was more than 20 wt%, and the diameters of the spherules were in the range of 50–250 nm. The advantage of the micro-nano structrue for the heavy metal ions removal in wastwater has been demonstrated by taking a series of static adsorption experiments. It was found that the micro-nano structrue of PES/PEI nanofibrous membranes could bring high performance of adsorption capacity for heavy metal ions, indicating that the unique morphology could bring much more large surface area per unit mass and high effectivity for heavy metal ions removal from aqueous solutions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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