Collecting Electrospun Nanofibers with Patterned Electrodes

Electrospinning is a simple, versatile, and useful technique for fabricating nanofibers from a rich variety of functional materials. The nanofibers are usually collected as nonwoven mats, in which the fibers are randomly oriented. We have recently demonstrated that the nanofibers can be uniaxially aligned by introducing an insulating gap into the conductive collector. To elucidate the mechanism of alignment, we have systematically studied the effect of the area and geometric shape of the insulating gap on the deposition of fibers. By modeling the electrostatic forces acting on the fiber, it was established that the fibers tended to be oriented along a direction such that the net torque of electrostatic forces applied to the two ends of a discrete segment of the fiber were minimized. By varying the design of electrode pattern, it was possible to control both alignment and assembly of the electrospun nanofibers.

The original research paper can be seen here.

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