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Multifuctional polymeric materials though nanostructuring


Nowadays, one of the main scientific challenges is the fabrication of nanostructured materials (polymer nanofibres and nanotubes) in demand for a broad range of applications. Electrospinning has been shown to be an effective method for the production of polymer fibres with diameters in the range from several micrometers down to tens of nanometers. It has been found that the fibre diameter can be controlled within a broad range by proper selection of the processing parameters. For selected applications i t is desirable to control not only the fibre diameter, but also the internal morphology. Nanostructured fibres as for example porous fibres are of interest for a broad range of applications in areas such as sensor or filter technologies and the preparati on of functional nanotubes by fibre templates. Tubes with such dimensions may be used to store or transport gases or fluids, for fuel cells, near field optics, nano-electronics and combinational chemistry, for applications in the area of catalysis, drug release or even encapsulation. Composite materials trying to mimic the exceptional properties of many biomaterials, and particularly polymer nanocomposites are materials with great scientific and technological challenges related to their promising nano structure-property correlations. The development of carbon-nanotube-reinforced polymer composites not only offers unique opportunities to improve the physical and mechanical properties of a given matrix but also allows the evaluation of the intrinsic pro perties of the reinforcing nanoscale phase. The key technical challenges which remain for such carbon-nanotube-reinforced polymers are the achievement of a homogeneous dispersion, good interfacial bonding and a controlled degree of alignment. It is also apparent from these studies that an ability to predict nanocomposite properties for a given filler type and loading fraction remains challenging.


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