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Reaction Spinning Titanium Dioxide Particle-Coated Carbon Fiber for Photoelectric Energy Conversion

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Pomona, CA 91768, USA
2
Department of Natural, Physical and Health Sciences, Citrus College, Glendora, CA 91741, USA
3
Diamond Bar High School, Diamond Bar, CA 91765, USA
4
Department of Civil Engineering, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Pomona, CA 91768, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fibers 2019, 7(5), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/fib7050049
Received: 24 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 20 May 2019 / Published: 23 May 2019
In this paper, a titanium dioxide particle coated carbon fiber was prepared by reaction spinning. Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was used as the precursor to generate a continuous carbon nanofiber. A solution containing 10% wt PAN polymer dissolved in dimethylformamide (DMF) was made as the core fluid. The sheath fluid contains 10% titanium (IV) isopropoxide, 85% ethanol, and 5% acetic acid. The two solutions were co-spun onto an aluminium plate covered with a layer of soft tissue paper. A titanium hydroxide layer formed at the surface of the PAN fiber through the hydrolysis of titanium isopropoxide due to the moisture absorption in the co-spinning process. The reaction spun fiber was converted to a partially carbonized nanofiber by the heat treatment in air at 250 °C for two hours, then in hydrogen at 500 °C for two hours. During the early stage of the heat treatment, the titanium hydroxide decomposed and produced titanium dioxide nanoparticles at the surface of the carbon fiber. The structure and composition of the carbonized fiber were studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The photosensitivity of the particle-containing fiber was characterized by measuring the open circuit voltage under visible light excitation. The photoelectric energy conversion behavior of the fiber was confirmed by open circuit potential measurement. The potential applications of the composite fiber for photovoltaics and photonic sensing were discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: titanium dioxide particle coated carbon fiber; reaction spinning; heat treatment; microstructure; photovoltaics; photoelectric energy conversion; photosensitive behavior titanium dioxide particle coated carbon fiber; reaction spinning; heat treatment; microstructure; photovoltaics; photoelectric energy conversion; photosensitive behavior
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Yuan, L.; Wei, X.; Martinez, J.P.; Yu, C.; Panahi, N.; Gan, J.B.; Zhang, Y.; Gan, Y.X. Reaction Spinning Titanium Dioxide Particle-Coated Carbon Fiber for Photoelectric Energy Conversion. Fibers 2019, 7, 49.

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