Electrospun functionalized Rare Earth Cerium Oxide nano fibers for catalytic and biomedical applications

G. Burman, U. Kumar, Y. Fu, S. Seal
University of Central Florida,
United States


The rare earth element, Cerium, has been utilized for various applications due to its oxidative regenerative properties, resultant from a continuous charge transfer between Ce3+ and Ce4+ oxidation states. Defect engineering in ceria nanoparticles is of utmost importance, and has been explored throughout 0D, 1D, 2D, and 3D structures. Here we report a synthesis method of electrospun ceria nanofibers with emphasis to control defect engineering and vacancies. We have used the water-soluble polymer, PVA, as the template, cerium nitrate as the ceria precursor, and PEO to assist in fiber formation. A 5% PVA (wt/vol) solution was made in DI water, followed by adding an appropriate amount of cerium nitrate to form a 0.0375 M solution. Before electrospinning, 5% PEO solution was added to make a 1:4 (PEO:PVA+Ce(NO3)3) ratio solution. After electrospinning, fiber mats were calcined at 500 ºC for 4 h (0.5 ºC/min heating rate). Ceria nanofibers obtained were then characterized via XPS, SEM, XRD, and TEM. Our method serves as a platform for facile synthesis of 1D ceria nanofibers and subsequent functionalization with various dopants, or hetero-nano structures formation. In this ongoing work, we plan to explore our nanoceria fiber mats for catalytic and biomedical applications.