Reversible photochromic nanofibrous membranes with excellent
water/windproof and breathable performance
Meng-Nan Liu ,
Collaborative Innovation Center for Nanomaterials & Devices, College of Physics, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071, China
Industrial Research Institute of Nonwovens & Technical Textiles, College of Textiles & Clothing, Qingdao University, Qingdao
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027
Correspondence to: Y.Z. Long (E -mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), X. Yan (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org),
and Y. Wan (E -mail: email@example.com)
Electrospun nanofibrous membranes (NFMs) with outstanding photochromic property, waterproof, and breathability have
attracted considerable interest owing to their multifunctional applications in intelligent clothing, self-cleaning, and protection. How-
ever, great challenges still remain in creating such functional materials. A novel waterproof–breathable membrane with robust photo-
chromic property is fabricated by introducing photochromic microcapsule (PM) into electrospun thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU)
membranes. Compared with the pristine TPU NFMs, the composite TPU/PM membranes are endowed with reversible photochromic
properties. In addition, the composite membranes not only exhibited a water contact angle of 1378 and a milk contact angle of 1308,
but also had integrated properties of modest water vapor transmittance rate of 19,278 g m
, high air permeability of 962
, low waterproofness of 2.813 kPa, and comparable tensile strength of 12.08 MPa. Furthermore, the convenience and effi-
ciency of this fabrication process will allow for large-scale production of the multifunctional NFMs.
2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl.
Polym. Sci. 2018, 135, 46342.
electrospinning; fibers; membranes; nanostructured polymers
Received 27 November 2017; accepted 1 February 2018
Waterproof and breathable fabric is a kind of functional fabric
with outstanding waterproofness, moisture permeable proper-
ties, and ventilation properties. In bad weather conditions, this
kind of fabric can protect the body against high winds and
heavy rain and some poisonous reagents to some extent, and at
the same time transmit water vapor to the external environ-
ment, to ensure the drying and comfort of human body.
core functional layer of the breathable barrier fabrics is the
waterproof and breathable membranes which have a clearly visi-
ble system of holes as interconnected passage-ways and hydro-
phobic surface that enable them to discriminate between water
droplets (diameters > 100 lm) and small molecular gases
(diameters < 1 nm) in order to allow water vapor transforming
from the human body to the outside while preventing the pene-
tration of water. These waterproof and breathable membranes
have been developed for the use in fabrics that are identified as
the “second skin” of people to provide effective comfort under
many extreme climatic conditions, and meanwhile, they can
also supply protection for human body and keep warm from
rugged environment, such as wind, rain, and snow.
tion, these membranes can be used not only in protective cloth-
ing but also in medical applications, bioseparation, membrane
distillation, moisture regulation of buildings, catalyst carriers,
tissue engineering, filtration, pharmaceutical, and humidifica-
tion for the conservation of art and paper.
Electrostatic spinning technology can be used to prepare the
fiber whose diameter ranges from several tens of nanometers to
a few microns. This new technology can endow the fabric with
high level of protective performance and excellent permeability
at the same time. In the process of electrospinning, fibers keep
continuous stack, and a three-dimensional reticular structure
come into being. In the structure, the pore size is very small
and the porosity is very high, which make the large droplets
cannot penetrate and at the same time the water vapor can be
transmitted outward through the transport channel due to the
Additional Supporting Information may be found in the online version of this article.
2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
J. APPL. POLYM. SCI. 2018, DOI: 10.1002/APP.46342
46342 (1 of 7)