Lead zirconate titanate (PZT) nanofibers are obtained by electrospinning a sol-gel based solution and polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) polymer, and subsequent sintering of the electrospun precursor fibers. The PVP content of the precursor solution is critical in the formation of the fully fibrous mats. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used to examine the morphology of the precursor fibers and annealed PZT nanofibers. The diameters of the precursor PZT/PVP green fibers have increased with the aging of the precursor solution along with an increase in the viscosity. The viscosity of 500 mPa results in successful fibrous mats, yielding green PZT/PVP fibers with a diameter of 400 nm. The fiber mats are then sintered at 700°C. X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern of the annealed PZT fibers exhibits no preferred orientation and a pure tetragonal perovskite phase. Preparation of piezocomposites by infusion of epoxy into the nanofiber mat facilitates successful handling of the fragile mats and enables measurements of dielectric properties.
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