The impact of relative humidity during electrospinning on the morphology and mechanical properties of nanofibers

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Electrospinning is an efficient and flexible method for nanofiber production, but it is influenced by many systemic, process, and environmental parameters that govern the electrospun product morphology. This study systematically investigates the influence of relative humidity (RH) on the electrospinning process. The results showed that the morphology of the electrospun product (shape and diameter) can be manipulated with precise regulation of RH during electrospinning. Because the diameter of nanofibers correlates with their rigidity, it was shown that RH control can lead to manipulation of material mechanical properties. Finally, based on the solution's rheological parameter—namely, phase shift angle—we were able to predict the loss of homogenous nanofiber structure in correlation with RH conditions during electrospinning. This research addresses the mechanism of RH impact on the electrospinning process and offers the background to exploit it in order to better control nanomaterial properties and alter its applicability.Graphical abstract

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