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Robust Mechanical-to-Electrical Energy Conversion from Short-Distance Electrospun Poly(vinylidene fluoride) Fiber Webs

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posted on 14.10.2015 by Hao Shao, Jian Fang, Hongxia Wang, Chenhong Lang, Tong Lin
Electrospun polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanofiber webs have shown great potential in making mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion devices. Previously, polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) nanofibers were produced either using near-field electrospinning (spinning distance < 1 cm) or conventional electrospinning (spinning distance > 8 cm). PVDF fibers produced by an electrospinning at a spinning distance between 1 and 8 cm (referred to as “short-distance” electrospinning in this paper) has received little attention. In this study, we have found that PVDF electrospun in such a distance range can still be fibers, although interfiber connection is formed throughout the web. The interconnected PVDF fibers can have a comparable β crystal phase content and mechanical-to-electrical energy conversion property to those produced by conventional electrospinning. However, the interfiber connection was found to considerably stabilize the fibrous structure during repeated compression and decompression for electrical conversion. More interestingly, the short-distance electrospun PVDF fiber webs have higher delamination resistance and tensile strength than those of PVDF nanofiber webs produced by conventional electrospinning. Short-distance electrospun PVDF nanofibers could be more suitable for the development of robust energy harvesters than conventionally electrospun PVDF nanofibers.