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Research Papers

Fabrication of Metal–Polymer Nanocomposites by In-Fiber Instability

[+] Author and Article Information
Ting-Chiang Lin

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: Jasonlin77830@ucla.edu

Jingzhou Zhao

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: jingzhou.zhao@ucla.edu

Chezheng Cao

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: cheercao@ucla.edu

Abdolreza Javadi

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: javadi@ucla.edu

Yingchao Yang

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: yingchaoyang@ucla.edu

Injoo Hwang

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: injoo2012@ucla.edu

Xiaochun Li

Department of Mechanical and
Aerospace Engineering,
University of California, Los Angeles,
Los Angeles, CA 90095
e-mail: xcli@seas.ucla.edu

1The authors contributed equally to this work.

2Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MICRO- AND NANO-MANUFACTURING. Manuscript received May 2, 2016; final manuscript received August 29, 2016; published online October 19, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Nicholas Fang.

J. Micro Nano-Manuf 4(4), 041008 (Oct 19, 2016) (7 pages) Paper No: JMNM-16-1017; doi: 10.1115/1.4034612 History: Received May 02, 2016; Revised August 29, 2016

Thermal fiber drawing process has emerged as a promising nanomanufacturing process to generate high-throughput, well aligned, and indefinitely long micro/nanostructures. However, scalable fabrication of metal–polymer nanocomposite is still a challenge, since it is still very difficult to control metal core geometry at nanoscale due to the low-viscosity and high-surface energy of molten metals in cladding materials (e.g., polymer or glass). Here, we show that a scalable nanomanufacture of metal–polymer nanocomposite via thermal fiber drawing is possible. Polyethersulfone (PES) fibers embedded with Sn nanoparticles (<200 nm) were produced by the iterative size reduction thermal fiber drawing. A post-characterization procedure was developed to successfully reveal the metal core geometry at submicron scale. A three-stage control mechanism is proposed to realize the possible control of the metal nanoparticle morphology. This thermal drawing approach promises a scalable production of metal–polymer nanocomposite fibers with unique physicochemical properties for exciting new functionalities.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of multiple thermal fiber drawing process

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Fig. 2

Schematic of the third drawn fiber on FIB stub: (a) after ultramicrotome slicing, (b) Formation of a groove by FIB etching, and (c) Sn metal core geometry inside PES at submicron scale

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Fig. 3

Cross-sectional optical microscope image of the first drawn bundled fibers with Sn cores

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Fig. 4

(a) Cross-sectional optical microscope image from a kilometer-long continuous polymer fiber which contains 86 of Sn microfibers. (b) SEM image of second drawn continuous Sn microfibers after dissolving PES cladding by DCM.

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Fig. 5

(a) SEM image of third drawn fibers (titled 52 deg) before FIB etching. (b) SEM image of third drawn Sn microwire after PES cladding dissolved. (c) FIB images of third drawn Sn core geometry inside PES cladding with (d) satellites. The diameter of the smaller satellite is less than 200 nm.

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Fig. 6

(a) SEM image of fourth drawn fibers (cross section) after slicing PES via ultramicrotome. (b) SEM image of fourth drawn Sn nanoparticles embedded inside the PES polymer. (c) The SEM image of Sn nanoparticles from fourth thermal drawing obtained by chemically etching PES cladding. (d) The TEM image of fourth drawn Sn nanoparticles after dissolving PES cladding. (e) Atomic-resolution TEM images of α-Sn, β-Sn, and SnO nanoparticles from fourth drawn fibers. (f) The size distribution of fourth drawn Sn nanoparticles.

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Fig. 7

Axial temperature distribution and metal droplet shape during thermal fiber drawing under the three-stage formation process

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