Use of Non-Woven Nanofibers in Solid-State Lighting Applications, 2010 Innovative Nonwovens Conference
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Electrospun nanofibers can be fashioned into a non-woven structure with unique optical properties. Further, photoluminescent nanofibers (PLN) formed by combining these optical nanofibers and luminescent particles such as quantum dots (QD) and phosphors have a myriad of potential applications in lighting and light management. The physical properties of PLNs are dependent upon many different nanoscale parameters associated with the non-woven nanofiber, the luminescent particles, and the method of fabricating the nanocomposite. By understanding and manipulating these properties, the performance of the resulting structure can be tailored for desired end-use applications. For example, the quantum efficiency of QDs in the PLN structure depends upon multiple parameters including QD chemistry, the method of forming the PLN nanocomposite, and prevention of agglomeration of the luminescent particles. In addition, forming patterned images of luminescent particles on nanofibers is highly dependent upon nanofiber surface chemistry and particle application methods. With the proper control of these parameters, high quantum efficiencies can be readily obtained for PLNs, which is critical in applications such as solid-state lighting. Methods of optimizing the performance of PLNs through nanoscale manipulation of the nanofiber are discussed along with guidelines for tailoring the performance of nanofibers and QDs for application-specific requirements.