Electrospinning uses an electrical charge to draw very fine fibers from a liquid. It has very high potential for industrial processing. Electrospinning is cost effective, repeatable and it can produce long, continuous nanofibers. Polymers such as polyalcohol, polyamides, and PLLA can be easily electrospun. The increase in demand for clean energy combined with the research work in progress and the potential advantages of electrospun electrodes over conventionally fabricated SOFCs makes electrospinning a strong candidate. In this thesis, ceramic nanofibers (ceria and nickel oxide) that can potentially be used in SOFCs are fabricated.

A three-phase approach is implemented in the fabrication of ceria and nickel oxide nanofibers. The first phase involves the preparation of the composite ceramic-polymer solution to be electrospun. The second phase gives the processing conditions such as voltage applied, feed rate, and gauge of syringe tip used for successfully electrospinning composite ceramic-polymer fibers. The final stage demonstrates the temperature cycles used to burn out the polymer and calcine the ceramic particles in the ceramic-polymer nanofibers leaving behind ceria and nickel oxide nanofibers.

Techniques such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray Diffraction (XRD) were used to measure the average diameter of the fibers formed and to understand the chemical composition and crystallanity of the nanofibers after calcination. This thesis also discusses the advantages and possibility of fabricating side-by-side nanofibers and oriented nanofiber mats.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Nanofibers; Electrospinning; Nickel oxide; Cerium oxides

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Industrial and Systems Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)


Denis Cormier

Advisor/Committee Member

Marcos Esterman


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at TA418.9.F5 Y47 2014


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes