Polymer-based composites by electrospinning: Preparation & functionalization with nanocarbons

Jeremy Kong Yoong Lee, Nuan Chen, Shengjie Peng, Linlin Li, Lingling Tian, Nitish Thakor, Seeram Ramakrishna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Electrospinning is a straightforward yet versatile technique for the preparation of polymeric nanofibers with diameters in the range of nanometers to micrometers, and has been rapidly developed in the last two decades. Nanocarbon materials, usually referring to carbon nanotubes, graphene, and fullerenes with their derivatives including quantum dots, nanofibers, and nanoribbons, have received increasing attention due to their unique structural characteristics and outstanding physico-chemical properties. Incorporation of nanocarbons in electrospun polymeric fibers has been used to increase the functionality of fibers, for example, to improve the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties, as well as confer biofunctionality as scaffolds in tissue engineering and sensors, when the advantageous properties given by the encapsulated materials are transferred to the fibers. In this review, we provide an overview of polymer-based composites reinforced with nanocarbons via the electrospinning technique. After a brief introduction of various types of nanocarbons, we summarize the latest progress of the design and fabrication of electrospun polymeric nanofibers with nanocarbon fillers. With regard to the preparation of composites, we focus on functionalization strategies of nanocarbons and the production of random & aligned polymeric nanocomposites. Then, the physical properties such as mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties are also reviewed for electrospun nanocomposite nanofibers reinforced with nanocarbons, especially carbon nanotubes. Benefiting from the exceptional properties including superior electric conductivity, high porosities, unique mat structure, etc. the polymeric composite nanofibers have demonstrated numerous advantages and promising properties in the fields of tissue engineering and sensors. In the application section, we will give state-of-the-art examples to demonstrate the advantages of electrospun polymer-based nanocomposites. Finally, the conclusion and challenge of the polymer-based nanocomposites are also presented. We believe the efforts made in this review would promote the understanding of the methods of preparation and unique physical and chemical properties of nanocarbon reinforced polymer-based nanocomposites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-84
Number of pages45
JournalProgress in Polymer Science
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Electrospinning
  • Functionalization
  • Nanocarbon
  • Nanofibers
  • Polymer composites
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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