Journal article Open Access

Preparation of ultrafine fibrous uranium dioxide by electrospinning

Vojtěch Kundrát; Ales Patak; Jiří Pinkas

We are introducing for the first time a robust method for the preparation of uranium oxide nanofibers
with extraordinary thin diameters. We have studied the preparation of U3O8 and UO2 nanofibers by the
electrospinning method from uranyl acetylacetonate in mixed organic solvents. Polyvinylpyrrolidone
(PVP) was used as a supporting polymer. Besides studying and optimizing the solution systems, we have
also examined the effects of collector material on the properties of the fiber mat. We have found that
calcination of electrospun green composite fibers deposited on aluminum foil produces U3O8 nanofibers
with the lowest average diameter of 20 ± 5 nm as their adhesion prevents fiber shrinking. We have also
studied calcination of fibers on ashless paper and freestanding composite mats. Reduction of U3O8 fibers
in H2/N2 atmosphere at various temperatures provided uranium dioxide nanofibers with an average
diameter of 90 nm.

This research has been financially supported by the MEYS CR under the project CEITEC 2020 (LQ1601) and the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under the grant agreement no. 810626 (SINNCE). CIISB research infrastructure project LM2015043 funded by the MEYS CR is gratefully acknowledged for the financial support of the measurements at the CEITEC MU CF X-ray Diffraction and Bio-SAXS and the CF Cryo-electron Microscopy and Tomography.
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