PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering
Nanofibers; Production engineering
Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering
We propose to expand nanomanufacturing capabilities and develop processing methods to produce advanced nanofiber materials with enhanced macromolecular and functional properties. Over the past decade, there has been a tremendous increase in the demand for polymeric nanofibers, which are promising candidates for a wide range of technological applications, including tissue engineering, protective clothing, filtration/absorption materials, and sensors/electronic devices, batteries/energy harvest, and fiber-reinforced composites . However, the accessibility of nanofiber materials is limited because it is impossible to produce polymer nanofibers using conventional techniques. Typically, conventional polymer fibers are manufactured by mechanical extrusion with a secondary post-drawing step that stretches the preform fiber to several times its original length to induce molecular alignment and impart strength. To address this demand, researchers have turned to the development of various techniques such as air blowing , direct drawing , electrospinning, and centrifugal spinning  for the fabrication of polymeric nanofibers. Currently, electrospinning is the most widely used technique for the manufacturing of continuous nanofibers mats. The method can fabricate nanofibrous assemblies of various polymers with control of the fiber diameters, surface morphology, orientation, and cross-sectional configuration, giving it an edge over other processes. However, with technological innovation, like adopting an automated track system to electrospinning and other alternative fabrication techniques, we can move beyond its current state towards commercial realization and widespread applications. Our research shows that the addition of a post-drawing step can further improve nanofiber properties, as widely demonstrated in extruded, post-drawn microfibers.
Jao, Dave, "Scalable fabrication of post-drawn bio-based and petroleum-based nanofibers with tunable fiber alignment, morphology, and mechanical properties via an automated track approach" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 2861.