Issue 14, 2014

Surface modification of cellulose nanocrystals


Chemical modification of cellulose nanocrystals is an increasingly popular topic in the literature. This review analyses the type of cellulose nanocrystal modification reactions that have been published in the literature thus far and looks at the steps that have been taken towards analysing the products of the nanocrystal modifications. The main categories of reactions carried out on cellulose nanocrystals are oxidations, esterifications, amidations, carbamations and etherifications. More recently nucleophilic substitutions have been used to introduce more complex functionality to cellulose nanocrystals. Multi-step modifications are also considered. This review emphasizes quantification of modification at the nanocrystal surface in terms of degree of substitution and the validity of conclusions drawn from different analysis techniques in this area. The mechanisms of the modification reactions are presented and considered with respect to the effect on the outcome of the reactions. While great strides have been made in the quality of analytical data published in the field of cellulose nanocrystal modification, there is still vast scope for improvement, both in data quality and the quality of analysis of data. Given the difficulty of surface analysis, cross-checking of results from different analysis techniques is fundamental for the development of reliable cellulose nanocrystal modification techniques.

Graphical abstract: Surface modification of cellulose nanocrystals

Article information

Article type
Review Article
01 Apr 2014
27 May 2014
First published
17 Jun 2014
This article is Open Access
Creative Commons BY license

Nanoscale, 2014,6, 7764-7779

Author version available

Surface modification of cellulose nanocrystals

S. Eyley and W. Thielemans, Nanoscale, 2014, 6, 7764 DOI: 10.1039/C4NR01756K

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