Preparation of photochromic poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) fibers by electrospinning

Mao Wang, Sean A. Vail, Amy E. Keirstead, Manuel Marquez, Devens Gust, Antonio Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Photochromic poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) (PVDF-co-HFP) fibers were prepared by electrospinning from a solution of copolymer and ester-functionalized nitrospiropyran (SPEST) molecules. The surface and internal features of the electrospun (ES) fibers were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). The strong segregation of fluorine-rich groups on the fiber surface, which occurs during and/or after the electrospinning process, is driven by the lower surface tension for fluorine-rich groups and leads to encapsulation of SPEST predominantly near the core of the fibers, as confirmed by both X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and dynamic water contact angle (CA) measurements. The photochromic behavior of the spiropyran is preserved in the polymeric fibers, as confirmed by steady-state absorption and emission spectroscopy. Both isomeric forms of the photochrome in SP-PVDF-co-HFP were emissive, an effect that is thought to be due to the steric and/or electrostatic restrictions on the ring-opening reaction imposed by the fiber.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3974-3980
Number of pages7
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jul 31 2009


  • Electrospinning
  • Photochromic fibers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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