Functional electrospun polystyrene nanofibers incorporating α-, β-, and γ-cyclodextrins: Comparison of molecular filter performance
Electrospinning has been used to successfully create polystyrene (PS) nanofibers containing either of three different types of cyclodextrin (CD); α-CD, β-CD, and γ-CD. These three CDs are chosen because they have different sized cavities that potentially allow for selective inclusion complex (IC) formation with molecules of different size or differences in affinity of IC formation with one type of molecule. The CD containing electrospun PS nanofibers (PS/CD) were initially characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine the uniformity of the fibers and their fiber diameter distributions. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used to quantitatively determine the concentration of each CD on the different fiber surfaces. Static time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (static-ToF-SIMS) showed the presence of each type of CD on the PS nanofibers by the detection of both the CD sodium adduct molecular ions (M + Na+) and lower molecular weight oxygen containing fragment ions. The comparative efficiency of the PS/CD nanofibers/nanoweb for removing phenolphthalein, a model organic compound, from solution was determined by UV-vis spectrometry, and the kinetics of phenolphthalein capture was shown to follow the trend PS/α-CD > PS/β-CD > PS/γ-CD. Direct pyrolysis mass spectrometry (DP-MS) was also performed to ascertain the relative binding strengths of the phenolphthalein for the CD cavities, and the results showed the trend in the interaction strength was β-CD > γ-CD > α-CD. Our results demonstrate that nanofibers produced by electrospinning that incorporate cyclodextrins with different sized cavities can indeed filter organic molecules and can potentially be used for filtration, purification, and/or separation processes. © 2010 American Chemical Society.