Background: There are many patents on design of a material surface with special wetting
property, however, theoretical methods are lacked. The wetting property of a nanofiber member has attracted
much attention. A material with different sizes or with different structures possesses different
wetting properties. No theory can explain the phenomenon.
Methods: The contact angle, fiber fineness, pore size and layer of the nanofiber membrane were tested.
The contact angles were measured for membranes with different thicknesses. The geometrical potential
is used to explain the experimental phenomenon.
Results: The wetting property of a nanofiber membrane mainly depends on fiber diameter and thickness.
Conclusion: Wetting property of a PVA nanofiber membrane depends upon not only the hydrophilic
groups, but also the geometrical structure of its surface, the latter prevails when the porous size of the
membrane tends to a nanoscale, and the wetting property can be inverted from hydrophilicity to hydrophobicity.