Polymer Science Faculty Research


Buckling of jets in electrospinning

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Various buckling instabilities of electrospinning jets were observed and compared with the buckling instabilities of uncharged fluid jets. Buckling instability arises due to jet compression at impingement on a collector surface and occurs independently of the electrical bending instability. The velocity, diameter, density and viscosity of the electrospinning jets are the key factors that determine the buckling frequency. The electrically charged jets impinging onto grounded, horizontal or inclined (wedge-like) electrodes moving laterally at a constant velocity are studied experimentally. Straight and bending (electrospinning) jets emerge at short and sufficiently long inter-electrode distances, respectively. The experiments show that both straight segment and bending jets, when impinging onto a counter-electrode, buckled and produced patterns of meandering deposits. In the case of bending electrospun jets these short-length buckling patterns were superimposed on the bending loops found in the deposits. Buckling-related and bending-related morphologies are easily distinguishable. The buckling patterns have frequencies of the order of 105–106 Hz, whereas the bending loops are formed at the frequencies of the order of 103 Hz. The deposited buckling patterns include sinuous, zigzag-like, figures-of-eight, recurring curves, coiled and other structures that resembled many patterns created by uncharged jets of highly viscous fluids impinging a hard flat surface. In addition, several new morphologies which were not observed before with uncharged jets were found. The experimentally measured frequencies of the buckling patterns were compared to the theoretical predictions and a reasonable agreement was found.

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