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Issue 7, 2011
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Design and characterization of cellulose nanofibril-based freestanding films prepared by layer-by-layer deposition technique

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Abstract

Freestanding layer-by-layer (LbL) films of anionic carboxymethylated cellulose nanofibrils (NFC) and a cationic branched polyelectrolyte, polyethyleneimine (PEI) have been prepared and characterized in terms of their structural and mechanical properties. The consecutive build-up of PEI and NFC on a hydroxylated and trifunctional organosilane-coated silicon substrate was monitored with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) and dual polarization interferometry (DPI) techniques. QCM-D and DPI measurements showed that the formation of each layer was fairly rapid and that the thickness of the NFC layers was larger than that of the PEI layers. The results also showed a linear to exponential growth with increasing layer number. The functionalization of the surface with trichlorosilanes did not significantly change the build-up of the LbL structures but it made it possible to easily peel off the formed films from the substrate. The stratified cross-sectional image of the (PEI/NFC)150 freestanding film was imaged with field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and the thickness of (PEI/NFC)150 was measured to be about 5 µm. Surface morphologies of the LbL films showed a randomly oriented nanofibrillar structure with an average surface roughness of ca. 9 nm. Uniaxial tensile tests on the freestanding LbL films showed that the introduction of polyelectrolytes into the nanofibrillar network increased the modulus, strain-at-break and stress-at-break, probably as a consequence of the softening of the cellulose film under absolutely dry conditions allowing for some movement of the fibrils before breakage of the film.

Graphical abstract: Design and characterization of cellulose nanofibril-based freestanding films prepared by layer-by-layer deposition technique

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Nov 2010, accepted on 26 Jan 2011 and first published on 21 Feb 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01355B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 3467-3474
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    Design and characterization of cellulose nanofibril-based freestanding films prepared by layer-by-layer deposition technique

    E. Karabulut and L. Wågberg, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 3467
    DOI: 10.1039/C0SM01355B

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