Electrospinning of Silica Nanofibre Membranes by Means of Sol-Gel Technology (Jozefien Geltmeyer) (2013 - 2016)

Ceramic nanofibres can play an important part in various applications such as catalysis, sensors, filtration etc. The objective of the project is threefold. A first objective is to finetune the electrospinning process of silica nanofibres. To this end, it is essential to define the parameters that determine the stability and continuity of the silica nanofibres electrospinning process. This will form the basis for the further development of the project. After that, focus will be on increasing the flexibility and upscaling the membranes. Both the fibre morphology and the thermal and mechanical properties of the membranes will be investigated in order to understand the electrospinning process. The fibre diameter (and diameter distribution) as well as irregularities and form will be investigated by SEM. The contribution and the distribution of the crystalline and amorphous phases in the fibres will be studied through thermal analysis TGA/DTA and XRD. Also FTIR and NMR will be used to gain some understanding of the composition and the degree of reticulation of the silica nanofibres. The mechanical properties of the membranes will be evaluated by means of drawing and bending tests. A final objective is to functionalise the ceramic nanofibres for future advanced applications. The project will enable us to develop both flexible and functionalised ceramic nanofibres in a reproducable way.


Supported by: IWT
Duration: 01/2013 – 12/2016
Contact: ir. Jozefien Geltmeyer - Prof. Dr. ir. Karen De Clerck