Study on TiO2 nanoparticles distribution in electrospun polysulfone/TiO2 composite nanofiber

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Composite nanofibers composed of an organic polymer and inorganic nanomaterials have huge potential to be used in different industrial applications. However, the main concern on the use of composite nanofibers is the distribution properties of nanomaterials in the polymeric matrix. The effect of the capillary tip charge on the additive distribution in the electrospun nanofiber has been previously studied and can be found in the literature. In this study, the focus is placed on the investigation of TiO2 nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) distribution in the Polysulfone (PSF) nanofiber. X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) was conducted to measure the percentage of TiO2 on the surface of the prepared PSF/TiO2 composite nanofiber. The results showed that there was no TiO2 NPs on the surface of the nanofiber for up to 10 nm in depth. TiO2 nanoparticles were mainly found in the center of the nanofiber due to the accumulation of the hydrophobic PSF at the surface of the composite nanofiber. The findings of this work can provide better interpretation of the impact of the interfacial tension on the distribution of the inorganic nanomaterials in the electrospun nanofiber.

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