This paper reports the molecular organization and mechanical properties of electrospun, post-drawn polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofibers. Without post-drawing, the polymer chain was kinked and oriented in hexagonal crystalline structures. Immediate post-drawing in the semi-solid state disrupted the crystal structures and chain kink at maximum draw ratio. Structural re-orientation at maximum draw resulted in a 500% increase in Young's modulus and a 100% increase in ultimate tensile strength. By applying post-drawing to electrospinning it may be possible to obtain PAN fibers and PAN-derived carbon fibers with enhanced mechanical properties compared to available fabrication technologies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)