In this study, using a barbed Y-connector as the spinneret, camphoric acid (CSA) doped polyaniline (PANI) and polyethylene oxide (PEO) were electrospun into side-by-side bicomponent fibers. Fiber mats obtained from this side-by-side spinneret were compared with those mats electrospun from blended PEO and PANI in terms of fiber morphology, electrical conductivity, thermal stability, mechanical properties, and relative resistivity under tensile strain. The influence of different content ratio of insulating PEO (3/4/5 w/v% to solvent) and conductive PANI-CSA (1.5/2.5/3.5 w/v% to solvent) on the abovementioned properties was studied as well. Results showed that this side-by-side spinning was capable of overcoming the poor spinnability of PANI to produce fibers with PEO carrying PANI on the surface of the bicomponent fibers, which demonstrated higher electrical conductivity than blends. Although the addition of PANI deteriorated mechanical properties for both side-by-side and blended fibers when compared to the pure PEO fibers, the side-by-side fibers showed much better fiber strength and elongation than blends. In addition, the superior ductility and decent relative electrical resistivity of the side-by-side fibers imparted them great potential for flexible sensor applications.
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