Transformation of polymer nanofibers to nanospheres driven by the rayleigh instability

Yu Chieh Huang, Ping Wen Fan, Chih Wei Lee, Chien Wei Chu, Chia Chan Tsai, Jiun-Tai Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study the thermal annealing effect of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) nanofibers made from anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates and their transformation to PMMA nanospheres. The PMMA nanofibers are prepared by wetting an AAO template with a 30 wt % PMMA solution, followed by the evaporation of the solvent. After the AAO template is removed by a weak base, the PMMA nanofibers are thermally annealed in ethylene glycol, a nonsolvent for PMMA. The surfaces of the nanofibers undulate and transform into nanospheres, driven by the Rayleigh instability. The driving force for the transformation process is the minimization of the interfacial energy between PMMA nanofibers and ethylene glycol. The transformation times at higher annealing temperatures are shorter than those at lower annealing temperatures. This study provides a facile route to prepare polymer nanospheres which are not accessible by other traditional methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3134-3142
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume5
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Apr 2013

Keywords

  • annealing
  • nanofibers
  • nanospheres
  • PMMA
  • templates

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