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Research Papers

Feasibility of Fiber-Deposition Control by Secondary Electric Fields in Near-Field Electrospinning

[+] Author and Article Information
Nicolas Martinez-Prieto

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: nicolasmartinezprieto2019@u.northwestern.edu

Maxwell Abecassis

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: maxwellabecassis2014@u.northwestern.edu

Jiachen Xu

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: jiachenxu2013@u.northwestern.edu

Ping Guo

Department of Mechanical and
Automation Engineering,
The Chinese University of Hong Kong,
Rm 213, William M.W. Mong
Engineering Building,
Hong Kong, China
e-mail: pguo@mae.cuhk.edu.hk

Jian Cao

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: jcao@northwestern.edu

Kornel F. Ehmann

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Northwestern University,
Evanston, IL 60208
e-mail: k-ehmann@northwestern.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received August 15, 2014; final manuscript received August 26, 2015; published online September 22, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Martin Jun.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 3(4), 041005 (Sep 22, 2015) (6 pages) Paper No: JMNM-14-1056; doi: 10.1115/1.4031491 History: Received August 15, 2014; Revised August 26, 2015

Product miniaturization has become a trending technology in a broad range of industries and its development is being pushed by the requirements for complexity and resolution of micromanufactured products. However, there still exists a gap in the manufacturing spectrum for complex three-dimensional (3D) structure generation capabilities with micron and submicron resolution. This paper extends the near-field electrospinning (NFES) process and develops a direct-writing (DW) technology for microfiber deposition with micrometer resolution. The proposed method presented uses an auxiliary electrode to generate an electric field perpendicular to the fiber flight path. This tunable electric field grants the user real-time control of the fiber flight path, increasing the resolution of the deposited structure. The use of an auxiliary electrode ring for fiber manipulation is proposed to further improve control over the deposition process.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Current micro- and nano-manufacturing technology landscape. Technologies with single-micron and submicron resolutions capable of producing complex shapes are not currently available.

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Fig. 2

Typical electrospinning setup showing the spinneret, fiber, and collector. The blue box highlights the region before the bending instability occurs. This region is used in NFES.

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Fig. 3

NFES experimental setup

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Fig. 4

Guiding electrode as used in the experimental setup. The PEO solution droplet is ∼600 μm in diameter.

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Fig. 5

(a) Electric field simulation of the setup with a guiding electrode. Electric potential contours, electric field streamlines, and electric field arrows are shown. (b) Comparison of the horizontal component of the electric field along the central axis when the guiding electrode is not present and when a 5 V potential is applied to it. Its magnitude is close to zero when no electrode is present.

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Fig. 6

Microscopic image of fibers deposited with the guiding electrode perpendicular to the deposition direction. The bottom fiber was deposited with the guiding electrode off. During the deposition of the second half of the top fiber, the electrode was activated as shown by the brackets. The difference in the distance between the fibers in the section where the electrode was off, hoff, and on, hon, is Δh = 50 μm.

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Fig. 7

Microscopic image of fibers deposited with the electrode placed parallel to the fiber deposition direction. The electrode was activated when the fiber was turning. The use of the electrode reduced the statistical range of the endpoint location by 110 μm, going from 172 μm when the electrode was off to 62.5 μm when the electrode was on.

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Fig. 8

Single potential piezo actuated electrode ring design. The magnitude of the electrode ring potential will be variable and determined by the resistors E1 and E2. The electric field lines depend on electrode voltage and position of the ring relative to the spinneret.

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Fig. 9

Multipotential stationary electrode ring design. Each of the quarter circle electrode is at a different potential as indicated by the different colors. The potentials labeled E1–E5 can be controlled by the user. The relative potentials will determine the horizontal electric field. The field lines show the effect of the rightmost electrode being at the lowest potential.

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