The photoluminescent germanium nanocrystals (Ge-NCs) were successfully incorporated into electrospun polymeric nanofiber matrix in order to develop photoluminescent nanofibrous composite web. In the first step, the synthesis of Ge-NCs was achieved by nanosecond pulsed laser ablation of bulk germanium wafer immersed in organic liquid. The size, the structural and the chemical characteristics of Ge-NCs investigated by TEM, XPS, XRD and Raman spectroscopy revealed that the Ge-NCs were highly pure and highly crystalline having spherical shape within 3–20 nm particle size distribution. In the second step, Ge-NCs were mixed with polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) polymer solution, and then, Ge-NC/PVA nanofibers were obtained via electrospinning technique. The electrospinning of Ge-NCs/PVA nanoweb composite structure was successful and bead-free Ge-NCs/PVA nanofibers having average fiber diameter of 185 ± 40 nm were obtained. The STEM analysis of the electrospun Ge-NCs/PVA nanofibers elucidated that the Ge-NCs were distributed homogeneously in the polymeric nanofiber matrix. The UV–Vis absorption and photoluminescence spectroscopy studies indicated the quantum confinement effect of Ge-NCs on the optical properties of the electrospun Ge-NCs/PVA nanoweb.
Source: Reactive and Functional Polymers