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Edited by Ashok Kumar, ISBN 978-953-7619-86-2, 450 pages, Publisher: InTech, Chapters published February 01, 2010 under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license
“There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” ⎯ this was the title of the lecture Prof. Richard Feynman delivered at California Institute of Technology on December 29, 1959 at the American Physical Society meeting. He considered the possibility to manipulate matter on an atomic scale. Indeed, the design and controllable synthesis of nanomaterials have attracted much attention because of their distinctive geometries and novel physical and chemical properties. For the last two decades nano-scaled materials in the form of nanofibers, nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanoclays, nanorods, nanodisks, nanoribbons, nanowhiskers etc. have been investigated with increased interest due to their enormous advantages, such as large surface area and active surface sites. Among all nanostructures, nanofibers have attracted tremendous interest in nanotechnology and biomedical engineering owing to the ease of controllable production processes, low pore size and superior mechanical properties for a range of applications in diverse areas such as catalysis, sensors, medicine, pharmacy, drug delivery, tissue engineering, filtration, textile, adhesive, aerospace, capacitors, transistors, battery separators, energy storage, fuel cells, information technology, photonic structures and flat panel displays, just to mention a few. Nanofibers are continuous filaments of generally less than about 1000 nm diameters. Nanofibers of a variety of cellulose and non-cellulose based materials can be produced by a variety of techniques such as phase separation, self assembly, drawing, melt fibrillation, template synthesis, electro-spinning, and solution spinning. They reduce the handling problems mostly associated with the nanoparticles. Nanoparticles can agglomerate and form clusters, whereas nanofibers form a mesh that stays intact even after regeneration. The present book is a result of contributions of experts from international scientific community working in different areas and types of nanofibers. The book thoroughly covers latest topics on different varieties of nanofibers. It provides an up-to-date insightful coverage to the synthesis, characterization, functional properties and potential device applications of nanofibers in specialized areas. We hope that this book will prove to be timely and thought provoking and will serve as a valuable reference for researchers working in different areas of nanofibers. Special thanks goes to the authors for their valuable contributions.