With their unique properties and potentials in several critical applications, highly crosslinked and conductive nanofibrous films (HCC-NFs) have attracted broad attentions recently. However, it is still a great challenge to produce high-performance and uniform HCC-NFs with controllable thickness on a large-scale. Electrospinning could be used to fabricate nanofiber films, but it falls short in creating intimate mechanical and electrical joints between adjacent nanofibers for crosslink. Herein, a new strategy inspired by the fabric shrinking when drying was applied to produce HCC-NFs. Hydrophilically-engineered electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN) nanofiber film was dip-coated in a water solution of PEDOT:PSS, and was then dried naturally. By preventing contraction of the film in its lateral plane while allowing its thickness shrinking, the capillary effect during water evaporation resulted in collapse of the large pore volume in the film and the subsequent joint formations between PEDOT:PSS-coated PAN nanofibers, which are further cemented together by the conductive polymer coating. The electrochemical, electrical and mechanical properties of such fabricated HCC-NFs were studied, and they were successfully applied as electrodes to demonstrate high-rate supercapacitors and as a flexible porous material for electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding. The studies suggest HCC-NFs produced by this facile method have promising prospects in several applications.
- Electromagnetic interference shielding