Authors: R.R. Lahiji, R. Reifenberger, R.J. Moon, A. Rudie
Affilation: Purdue University, United States
Pages: 704 - 707
Keywords: scanning probe microscopy, cellulose nanocrystals
Cellulose is the world’s most abundant biopolymer and is present in virtually all plants. Its main function is to act as a reinforcement material. Cellulose is a linear chain of ringed glucose monomers ((C6H10O5)n; n=10 to 15,000) linked together. Multiple cellulose chains arrange to form cellulose fibrils, which can be partially dissolved by acid hydrolysis, producing cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) that are nano-sized and have a rod or whisker shape (length: 100 to 300 nm, diameter: 3 to 5 nm). CNC’s are being considered as a “green” reinforcement material because they are naturally produced, are biodegradable, and are likely to have lower health risks than other reinforcement materials. CNCs offer several advantages as a reinforcement particle in polymer matrix composites, they have a high aspect ratio, high stiffness, low density (1.566 g/cm3), and a reactive surface that facilitates grafting chemical species to achieve different surface properties (surface functionalization). We will summarize some of our preliminary work using scanning probe microscopy to study changes in topography, adhesion, and stiffness of CNC surfaces as a result of: production procedures, exposure to different chemicals/ vapors, and in-situ surface changes.