Production of Glass Nanofibers with tailored compositions by Laser Spinning

F. Quintero, J. Penide, R. Comesaña, F. Lusquiños, A. Riveiro, J. Pou
Universidad de Vigo, ES

Keywords: glass nanofibers, laser spinning


We present a new method developed in our group, Laser Spinning, for the production of very long amorphous ceramic nanofibers with lengths up to several centimeters. This technique allows large quantities of nanofibers to be made with specific, controllable chemical compositions; including some compositions that cannot be formed into nanofibers using any other technique. The fundamentals of the technique will be outlined. It employs a laser to melt a small volume of a solid precursor material while a high pressure gas jet drags it. Thus, the molten material forms glass fibers as a result of its viscous elongation by the drag force and rapid cooling by the convective heat transfer promoted by the gas jet, forming a disordered mesh of intertwined fibers with different diameters, typically in the range from tens of nanometers up to several microns. Precise control of the process may lead to the production of continuous nanofibers with many technological advantages including easier alignment, assembly, and processing for a wide range of applications. This technique can be easily scalable showing the unique potential to produce very long amorphous nanofibers in large quantities. Finally, some of the promising applications of these glass nanofibers will be presented.