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Nanomaterials 2019, 9(3), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9030397

Crosslinked Sulfonated Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Graphene Oxide Electrospun Nanofibers as Polyelectrolytes

1
Instituto de Tecnología de Materiales (ITM), Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, School of Engineering, Universitat de València, Av. de la Universitat s/n, 46100 Burjassot, Spain
3
Packaging, Transport, & Logistics Research Institute (ITENE), C/Albert Einstein, 1, Parque Tecnológico, 46980 Paterna, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 8 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Layered Nano-Sheets: Synthesis and Applications)
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Abstract

Taking advantage of the high functionalization capacity of poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA), bead-free homogeneous nanofibrous mats were produced. The addition of functional groups by means of grafting strategies such as the sulfonation and the addition of nanoparticles such as graphene oxide (GO) were considered to bring new features to PVA. Two series of sulfonated and nonsulfonated composite nanofibers, with different compositions of GO, were prepared by electrospinning. The use of sulfosuccinic acid (SSA) allowed crosslinked and functionalized mats with controlled size and morphology to be obtained. The functionalization of the main chain of the PVA and the determination of the optimum composition of GO were analyzed in terms of the nanofibrous morphology, the chemical structure, the thermal properties, and conductivity. The crosslinking and the sulfonation treatment decreased the average fiber diameter of the nanofibers, which were electrical insulators regardless of the composition. The addition of small amounts of GO contributed to the retention of humidity, which significantly increased the proton conductivity. Although the single sulfonation of the polymer matrix produced a decrease in the proton conductivity, the combination of the sulfonation, the crosslinking, and the addition of GO enhanced the proton conductivity. The proposed nanofibers can be considered as good candidates for being exploited as valuable components for ionic polyelectrolyte membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA); graphene oxide (GO); crosslinked; nanofibers; polyelectrolyte; proton conductivity poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA); graphene oxide (GO); crosslinked; nanofibers; polyelectrolyte; proton conductivity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Gil-Castell, O.; Galindo-Alfaro, D.; Sánchez-Ballester, S.; Teruel-Juanes, R.; Badia, J.D.; Ribes-Greus, A. Crosslinked Sulfonated Poly(vinyl alcohol)/Graphene Oxide Electrospun Nanofibers as Polyelectrolytes. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 397.

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