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  • EditorialNanofiber Manufacture, Properties, and Applications 2013

    Tong Lin,1 Gajanan S. Bhat,2 and Raghavendra Hegde3

    1 Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre, Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, 75 Pigdons Road,Waurn Ponds, VIC 3216, Australia

    2 Nonwovens Research Laboratory, The University of Tennessee, 1321 White Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA3Domtar Personal Care, 2332 US Highway 42 South, Delaware, OH 43015, USA

    Correspondence should be addressed to Tong Lin; tong.lin@deakin.edu.au

    Received 12 January 2014; Accepted 12 January 2014; Published 18 February 2014

    Copyright 2014 Tong Lin et al.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, whichpermits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

    Nanofibers possess versatile properties andwide applications.Although they can be prepared by several different methods,electrospinning is distinct from other nanofiber-makingtechniques in versatility to process different polymers, abilityto control fiber diameter, morphology, orientation, com-ponent and fibrous structure, and potential for large-scaleproduction. The ease of electrospinning nanofibers on smallscales, mainly using a needle-based electrospinning setup, inlaboratories has considerably facilitated researchers findingof the unique properties and applications of electrospunnanofibers.

    This special issue highlights the functional applicationsof electrospun nanofibers in gas sensor, drug delivery,and electronics fields. A planar-type methane sensor wasprepared from a doped electrospun SnO

    2nanofiber. The

    sensor was reported to have good stability, prominent repro-ducibility, and excellent selectivity. In comparison with SnO

    2

    nanospheres, which were used conventionally for makingmethane sensors, the nanofibers had higher gas responseand saturated detection concentration, as well as quickerresponse-recovery time.

    Controlling drug release has many applications inthe biomedical field. In one of the papers on drugdelivery nanofibers, drug was loaded in polymer/silicahybrid nanofibers. The presence of the silica remarkablyenhanced drug loading efficiency, nanofiber hydrophilicity,and mechanical properties. Assessed by in vitro cell tests, thehybrid nanofibers showed good biocompatibility for guidedbone regeneration. Another paper reports drug loadednanofibers which were electrospun directly onto a polymeric

    backing film. The optimized nanofiber/film matrix systemshowed enhancement in drug dissolution rate, useful forrapid mucosal drug delivery.

    Two papers on electronics applications of electrospunnanofibers were included in this special issue. One paperreports on the p-n junction and rectifying property of alayered fibrous mat consisting of inorganic nanofibers andconducting polymer nanofibers. The fibrous mat had anobvious diode-rectifying characteristic, and the thicknessof the nanofiber layers considerably influenced the deviceresistance and rectifying performance. Such nanofibrousdiode rectifier may find applications in sensors, energyharvest, and electronic textiles. Another paper is on electrodeconnection solder. Short circuit often occurs at fine pitchinterconnections of electronic devices. To solve this problem,solder balls were incorporated into polyvinylidenefluoridenanofibers through electrospinning. The nanofiber soldershowed considerable improvement in solder capture rate and100% insulation between electrodes. It also improved contactconductivity, current handling ability, and reliability.

    The special issue also collects fundamental research onelectrospinning. Electric current between electrospinningelectrodes originates from the movement of charge carriersthrough the spinning space. It was reported that the majorityof charge carriers were formed by ionization of the airclose to the metallic needle nozzle or the polymer jet. Theaddition of salt to polymer solution increased the carrierconcentration. However, the conductivity of polymer jets didnot significantly affect the current since the jets did not linkthe electrodes.

    Hindawi Publishing CorporationJournal of NanomaterialsVolume 2014, Article ID 543678, 2 pageshttp://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/543678

  • 2 Journal of Nanomaterials

    Apart from electrospun nanofibers, a paper on multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT)/polyamide 66 compos-ites is also included in this special issue. MWCNTs withsurfacesmodified separatelywith acid and amine groupswereused as fillers. The amine-modified MWCNTs showed betterdispersion in the polymer matrix than pristine- and acid-modifiedMWCNTs.They induced heterogeneous nucleationof PA66 and significantly improved the composite hardnessand elastic modulus.

    As guest editors of this special issue, we are pleased to seethis progress. We hope that this special issue will contributeto the wide use of nanofibers and that the papers collected inthis special issue are well received by the reader.

    Acknowledgments

    The editors gratefully thank the authors for their contri-butions to this special issue and the reviewers for theirconstructive comments and dedication.

    Tong LinGajanan S. Bhat

    Raghavendra Hegde

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