Date of Award

Summer 7-14-2020

Semester of Degree

August

Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Paper and Bioprocess Engineering

Department

Paper & Bioprocess Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. Gary M. Scott

CO-MP

Dr. Biljana Bujanovic

Steering Committee Member

Dr. Raymond C. Francis

Steering Committee Member

Dr. Eric B. Finkelstein

Abstract

Cellulose is the most abundant naturally occurring polysaccharide. Its inherent mechanical stability, biocompatibility, biodegradability, and polyhydroxy functional groups make it desirable for various applications such as conductive fibers. Cellulose acetate (CA) – an acetate ester of cellulose – has a good fiber-forming property using a variety of solvents. Fiber-based materials offers good mechanical and thermal stability. Electrospinning is one of the emerging technologies in producing fibers in the nanoscale range. A polymer solution is fed through a spinneret and is collected on a metallic plate where both surfaces are attached to a high voltage supply. Asthe solution traverses the distance from the needle to the plate, the material stretches and gradually solidifies into superfine fibers. Polyaniline (PANI) is a conductive polymer that is popular for its high chemical stability, nontoxicity, good processability, and stable intrinsic redox state. This study explored the fabrication of a conductive PANI/CA nanocomposite through electrospinning. Working conditions, electrospinning variables and solution parameters were optimized to produced characterizable PANI/CA nanofibers. The effects of varying CA concentration, amount of PANI, molecular weight of CA, and feed flowrate on the morphology of the nanofibers were investigated.

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