A Novel Carbon Nanofiber Precursor: Poly(acrylonitrile-co-vinylacetate-co-itaconic acid) Terpolymer

Can D. S., Başkan H., Gumrukcu S., Sarac A. S.

JOURNAL OF NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY, vol.19, no.7, pp.3844-3853, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


This study aimed to produce poly(acrylonitrile-co-vinylacetate-co-itaconic acid) (poly(AN-co-VAc-co-IA)) terpolymer as a carbon nanofiber precursor. In this respect, terpolymer samples with different IA amounts were synthesized by free radical polymerization. Produced terpolymer samples were electrospun in order to obtain nanofibers which were then converted to carbon nanofibers. Obtained electrospun nanofibers were oxidized at different temperatures between 200-325 degrees C. After the oxidation process, carbonization process was applied at 1100 degrees C in the presence of N-2. Viscosity and molecular weight distribution of produced samples were measured with ubbelohde viscosimeter and gel permeation chromatography (GPC), respectively. Thermal features of the terpolymer samples were analyzed by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Spectroscopic characterization of terpolymer samples, oxidized and carbonized nanofibers were performed by Fourier transform infrared-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR). Original electrospun nanofibers, oxidized and carbonized nanofibers were investigated morphologically by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Inclusion of IA had considerable effect on terpolymer properties and electrospun nanofibers. Moreover, it was proven that oxidation temperature was a crucial parameter for carbon nanofiber production from terpolymer. Both morphology and color of the produced nanofiber mats changed when carbonization process was accomplished. It was observed that poly(AN-co-VAc-co-IA) terpolymer has lower initiation temperature when compared to poly(AN-co-VAc) and poly(AN-co-IA) copolymers, giving the opportunity to obtain carbon nanofibers easier, and poly(AN-co-VAc-co-IA) terpolymer can be used as an effective precursor for carbon nanofiber production.