High Throughput Centrifugal Electrospinning of Polyacrylonitrile Nanofibers for Carbon Fiber Nonwovens
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Carbon nanofiber nonwovens are promising materials for electrode or filtration applications; however, their utilization is obviated by a lack of high throughput production methods. In this study, we utilize a highly effective high-throughput method for the fabrication of polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers as a nonwoven on a dedicated substrate. The method employs rotational-, air pressure- and electrostatic forces to produce fibers from the inner edge of a rotating bell towards a flat collector. We investigate the impact of all above-mentioned forces on the fiber diameter, morphology, and bundling of the carbon-precursor PAN fibers. The interplay of radial forces with collector-facing forces has an influence on the uniformity of fiber deposition. Finally, the obtained PAN nanofibers are converted to carbon nonwovens by thermal treatment.