Electrospinning of silica nanofibers without organic polymer addiditon is regarded as a highly promising methodology for the production of thermal and chemical resistant nanofibrous materials applicable in various advanced applications. The combination of sol-gel technology and the electrospinning process allows for the production of ceramic nanofibrous membranes. By proper control of the sols rheology, addition of an organic polymer can be skipped in the nanofibres preparation procedure. This broadens their applicability since an additional heat treatment, typically used to remove the organic polymer, can be avoided. It allows for functionalisation of these nanofibrous membranes with various components that would otherwise not withstand the heat treatment.
The influence on viscosity, concentration and degree of cross linking will be described (1,2). The use of these nanofibrous structures coated with titania are very well suited for water purification (3) while a post-functionalisation with a dye can open the possibility of using this fibres as colorimetric sensors (4).
1. Geltmeyer, J., De Roo, J., Van den Broeck, F., Martins, J., De Buysser, K. and De Clerck, K., The influence of tetraethoxysilane sol preparation on the electrospinning of silica nanofibers, Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology 1-10 (2016)
2. Geltmeyer, J., Van der Schueren, L., Goethals, F., De Buysser, K. and De Clerck, K., Optimum sol viscosity for stable electrospinning of silica nanofibres, Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology 67 188-195 (2013)
3. Geltmeyer, J., Teixido, H., Meire, M., Van Acker, T., Deventer, K., Vanhaecke, F., Van Hulle, S., De Buysser, K. and De Clerck, K., TiO2 functionalized nanofibrous membranes for removal of organic (micro)pollutants from water, SEPARATION AND PURIFICATION TECHNOLOGY 1-37 (2017)
4. Geltmeyer, J., Vancoillie, G., Steyaert, I., Breyne, B., Cousins, G., Lava, K., Hoogenboom, R., De Buysser, K. and De Clerck, K., Dye Modification of Nanofibrous Silicon Oxide Membranes for Colorimetric HCl and NH3 Sensing, Advanced Functional materials 26 5987-5996 (2016)