Cellulose nanocrystals in nanoarchitectonics – towards photonic functional materials
The physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials do not only rely on the composition of the building blocks, but also on the nano-scaled structure itself. Therefore, a deep understanding of these materials calls for a close cooperation between various research fields such as physics, chemistry, materials science, engineering and biology. Nanoarchitectonics aims to unify the efforts towards the design and development of novel functional nanomaterials by combining methods of all these disciplines. The present review summarizes the recent achievements in the development of photonic functional materials based on cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) or CNC templating. The unique self-assembly of CNCs to chiral nematic structures allows for the development of a variety of functional materials with application potential in photonic sensing, tunable reflectors or optoelectronics.