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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 367671, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/367671
Research Article

Nanoclay-Directed Structure and Morphology in PVDF Electrospun Membranes

1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA
2LG Chem, 104-1 Munji-Dong, Yuseong-Gu, Daejeon 305-380, Republic of Korea
3Centre for Materials Science, School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, UK

Received 1 October 2013; Accepted 23 December 2013; Published 9 February 2014

Academic Editor: Marta J. Krysmann

Copyright © 2014 Kyunghwan Yoon and Antonios Kelarakis. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The incorporation of organically modified Lucentite nanoclay dramatically modifies the structure and morphology of the PVDF electrospun fibers. In a molecular level, the nanoclay preferentially stabilizes the all-trans conformation of the polymer chain, promoting an α to β transformation of the crystalline phase. The piezoelectric properties of the β-phase carry great promise for energy harvest applications. At a larger scale, the nanoclay facilitates the formation of highly uniform, bead-free fibers. Such an effect can be attributed to the enhanced conductivity and viscoelasticity of the PVDF-clay suspension. The homogenous distribution of the directionally aligned nanoclays imparts advanced mechanical properties to the nanofibers.