Journal article

On the measured current in electrospinning

The origin and scaling of the current measured during steady electrospinning of polymer solutions in organic solvents are considered. For a specified electric field strength E, flow rate Q, and conductivity K, the total measured current is shown empirically to scale as Itotal ∼EQ 0.5K0.4, for a wide variety of polymer solutions with different electrical conductivities. It is also shown that Itotal is composed of two distinct components: one that varies linearly with E, and another that is independent of E, but varies with the conductivity K of the fluid and the flow rate Q. The experimental evidence suggests that the latter component arises due to a secondary electrospray emanating from the surface of the jet. The consequence of this secondary electrospray mechanism on the final fiber size achieved during the electrospinning process is also discussed. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.


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