G. Burman, U. Kumar, Y. Fu, S. Seal
University of Central Florida,
Summary: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.