Open Access Nano Express

Diameter control of ultrathin zinc oxide nanofibers synthesized by electrospinning

Yingjie Liao1*, Takeshi Fukuda1, Norihiko Kamata1 and Makoto Tokunaga2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Functional Materials Science, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, 255 Shimo-Okubo, Sakura-ku, Saitama 338-8570, Japan

2 Comprehensive Analysis Center for Science, Saitama University, 255 Shimo-Okubo, Sakura-ku, Saitama 338-8570, Japan

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:267  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-267

Published: 29 May 2014

Abstract

Electrospinning is a versatile technique, which can be used to generate nanofibers from a rich variety of materials. We investigate the variation of a zinc oxide (ZnO)-polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) composite structure in morphology by electrospinning from a series of mixture solutions of ZnO sol–gel and PVP. Calcination conditions for the crystallization of ZnO nanofibers and removal of the PVP component from the ZnO-PVP composite nanofibers were also studied. The progression of the ZnO-PVP composite structure from grains to nanofibers was observed, and ZnO-PVP nanofibers as thin as 29.9 ± 0.8 nm on average were successfully fabricated. The size of the resultant ZnO-PVP composite nanofibers was considerably affected by two parameters: the concentrations of zinc acetate and PVP in the precursor solution. The concentration of zinc acetate particularly influenced the diameter distribution of the ZnO-PVP nanofibers. The ZnO-PVP nanofibers could be subsequently converted into ZnO nanofibers of a pure wurtzite phase via calcination in air at 500°C for 2 h.

Keywords:
Zinc oxide nanofiber; Diameter control; Crystallization; Electrospinning