Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

First Advisor

Michael Jaffe

Second Advisor

Kwabena A. Narh

Third Advisor

Bryan J. Pfister

Fourth Advisor

George Collins

Abstract

Polymer nanofibers exhibit properties that make them a favorable material for the development of tissue engineering scaffolds, filtration devices, sensors, and high strength lightweight materials. Perfectly aligned PLLA Nanofibers were fabricated by an electrospinning technique under optimum conditions and the diameter of the electrospun fibers can easily be tailored by adjusting the concentration of the polymer solution. To align the nanofibers, special arrangement was made in terms of two aluminum plates. Good alignment of polymer nanofibers on specimen was confirmed by SEM observation. The effect of different electro-spinning parameters on maximum fiber length, average fiber diameter, diameter uniformity, and fiber quality was explored in this study. The force applied on the nanofiber was measured with the help of AFM by satisfying Hooke's Law. The elastic properties of PLLA nanofiber were investigated with the atomic force microscope (AFM). The elasticity was calculated by analyzing the recorded force curves with the help of the Hertz model. Mechanical testing confirmed that the single aligned nanofiber can be an advancement in the commercial applications of nanofibers.

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