Jump to main content
Jump to site search
PLANNED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Scheduled maintenance work on Wednesday 27th March 2019 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (GMT).

During this time our website performance may be temporarily affected. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.

Issue 19, 2014
Previous Article Next Article

Light-stimulated mechanically switchable, photopatternable cellulose nanocomposites

Author affiliations


We report light-responsive, mechanically switchable, photopatternable nanocomposites based on benzophenone-derivatized cellulose nanocrystals (Bp-CNCs). Bp-CNCs are highly photoreactive and undergo radical-mediated reactions upon UV exposure, which were exploited to create materials with switchable mechanical characteristics. The nanocomposites were fabricated by incorporating 10 or 20% w/w Bp-CNCs into a rubbery ethylene oxide/epichlorohydrin copolymer (EO-EPI) matrix. The introduction of Bp-CNCs caused a pronounced stiffness increase. The tensile storage modulus (E′) increased from 4 MPa (neat polymer) to 222 MPa and 407 MPa for nanocomposites with 10% w/w or 20% w/w Bp-CNCs. E′ further increased to 293 MPa and 508 MPa upon irradiation with 365 nm UV light, on account of formation of covalent bonds between the Bp-CNCs and between the Bp-CNCs and the matrix polymer. The photoreaction reduced the level of aqueous swelling of the nanocomposites, as well as the extent of water-induced softening. The properties can be changed in a spatially resolved manner and the new nanocomposites also exhibit shape memory properties.

Graphical abstract: Light-stimulated mechanically switchable, photopatternable cellulose nanocomposites

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 07 Apr 2014, accepted on 02 Jun 2014 and first published on 04 Jun 2014

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00487F
Author version
Download author version (PDF)
Citation: Polym. Chem., 2014,5, 5716-5724

  •   Request permissions

    Light-stimulated mechanically switchable, photopatternable cellulose nanocomposites

    M. V. Biyani, M. Jorfi, C. Weder and E. J. Foster, Polym. Chem., 2014, 5, 5716
    DOI: 10.1039/C4PY00487F

Search articles by author