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Aerogel materials with periodic structures imprinted with cellulose nanocrystals

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Abstract

Novel aerogel materials with periodic structures derived from chiral nematic liquid crystalline cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are reported. The liquid crystalline structure of phase-separated CNCs is locked by a simple solvent exchange method or silica condensation. Both cellulose and silica/cellulose aerogel materials were obtained after critical point drying, and subsequent calcination of the silica/cellulose composite afforded a silica aerogel with periodic order. Gas adsorption and electron microscopy studies revealed that these materials have high surface areas and a unique chiral nematic structure imparted from the helicoidal CNC template. This is a new, scalable approach to aerogel materials with highly anisotropic structures. The high porosity and periodic, chiral features of these new materials may make them suitable for applications that require anisotropic properties or as hard templates for the construction of other ordered aerogels.

Graphical abstract: Aerogel materials with periodic structures imprinted with cellulose nanocrystals

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Oct 2017, accepted on 29 Jan 2018 and first published on 07 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07719J
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article
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    Aerogel materials with periodic structures imprinted with cellulose nanocrystals

    Y. Xu, Y. Dai, T. Nguyen, W. Y. Hamad and M. J. MacLachlan, Nanoscale, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07719J

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