Nano fiber : The fiber whose having a diameter in the nano scale (10-9 nm).
Nanofibrous materials present opportunities for the fabrication of new materials. Electro-spinning, a non-equilibrium electro-hydrodynamic, process, is a platform technology for the production of a range of nanofibrous materials. The uniqueness of nanofibrous structures is due to their high surface to volume ratio, fibre interconnectivity and microscale interstitial space, compared to normal fibrous structures. As a result, they are of high interest in a diverse range of applications where highly porous structures are desirable.In the field of cell biology these structures become of interest to control cell growth both in providing suitable growth surfaces and also being able to control nutrient feed to cells.
The wide variety of fibre architectures and high surface areas possible from electrospinning provides a new approach to filtration and separation membrane science and for use in flexible power supplies.
Various Ways to Make Nanofibers:
Polymeric nanofibers can be processed by a number of techniques such as
Properties of nanofibers:
Nanofibers exhibit special properties mainly due to extremely high surface to weight ratio compared to conventional nonwovens. Low density, large surface area to mass, high pore volume, and tight pore size make the nanofiber nonwoven appropriate for a wide range of filtration applications.
Nanotechnology can address one of the most important issues of the 21st Century that is safe, clean and affordable water. There are 1.3 billion people without access to safe drinking water and indications are that global consumption of water will likely double in the next 20 years. Further technology development is required to make this cost effective and allow it to become a more mainstream water supply option. Nanomembrane filtration devices that ‘clean’ polluted water, sifting out bacteria, viruses, heavy metals and organic material, are being explored by research teams in the US, Israel and Australia (at the UNESCO Centre for Membrane Science and Technology at the University of New South Wales and a consortium of CSIRO Divisions).
The key to lowering the energy demand and improving throughput for desalination is in understanding how to selectively separate small molecules, and package these technologies for exploitation. Separation of molecules occurs efficiently in nature through membranes, such as the ion channels that remove salt from blood and the respiratory membranes that transport oxygen and carbon dioxide.
In order to reduce the energy requirement for this process, nature provides large surface areas for the transport of molecules. A parallel approach is being developed by nanotechnologists for the production of nano architectures for cost-effective filtration system by bringing science, business and government together on this issue, it should be feasible to find nanotechnology solutions to a global problem.