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Preparation, Characterization and Formation Mechanism of Thermoplastic Polyurethane Nanostructures Using Solution Wetting Template

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Abstract:

Template wetting with polymer solutions has not been well understood up to now, and the formation mechanism of polymer nanostructures with this method is still to be revealed. In the present work, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) nanostructures were prepared by wetting cylindrical nanopores in an anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) membrane with TPU solution in dimethylformamide (DMF) followed by solvent evaporation. Both tubular structures and solid structures were simultaneously observed at four different concentrations of TPU solutions (i.e., 5, 7, 10, and 15 wt%) by a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Furthermore, a transition from a tubular structure to a solid structure was also found at a higher concentration of TPU solution (15 wt%). It is speculated that the top part of the single nanostructure is tubular, and the lower part is solid. A "capillary wetting-evaporation-deposition" mechanism is given to explain such a phenomenon. According to this mechanism, the higher polymer concentration, the larger amount of solution, and the smaller pore size are believed to be beneficial for the formation of solid structures.

Keywords: ANODIC ALUMINUM OXIDE TEMPLATE; NANOSTRUCTURE; TEMPLATE SYNTHESIS; THERMOPLASTIC POLYURETHANE SOLUTION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1166/jnn.2011.5191

Publication date: 2011-11-01

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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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