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SEM and TEM Characterization of Cellulose Fibers Functionalized with Inorganic Oxide Nanoparticles

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Microscopy, particularly scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM), offers an ability to engineer and produce homogeneous coatings, which uniformly cover the fiber, by imaging the sample surface, thus gains a magnified image of a specimen. The use of electron microscopy leads to enhanced nanocoatings and improvement of desired special properties. Development of modification process for obtaining cellulose fibers with long-lasting anti-microbial properties will be presented. For the modification, TiO2 photocatalyst was used, deposited and attached using different techniques. Two basic coating processes will be explained; (i) process of direct (in situ) formation of nanocoatings on fibers' surfaces and (ii) process of nanocoatings preparation starting from TiO2 P25 powder. Conditions, under which the processes for nanocoating can give rise to anti-microbial cellulose materials, were studied. In the first phase, the preparation technique and properties of nano titanium dioxide (TiO2) coatings generated directly on the surface of materials via sol–gel process have been studied extensively. Process was optimized in order to obtain coatings with desired structure and properties. The influence of sol–gel process conditions on the particle size and effectiveness was examined. When applying the procedure to the fibers some problems could occur, i.e., high temperature treatment conditions, problems related to the formation of required polymorph TiO2 form, fiber damage risks, problems related to the durability of the modification, etc. For that reason, in the second part of research, already formed TiO2 P25 nanoparticles were used for obtaining anti-microbial modified surfaces. TiO2 P25 is known as a photocatalyst with high photocatalitic and anti-microbial activity. Practical application of TiO2 P25 nanoparticles, based on stability of colloidal suspensions, was determined. TiO2 P25 aqueous suspensions were stabilized by changing the particle surface charge density and/or adding selected surfactants. In addition to that, the process for attaching composite TiO2–SiO2 nanoparticles, where SiO2 acts as a binding agent was studied. Investigations indicated anti-microbial effectiveness of all TiO2 coated samples; however the anti-microbial effectiveness was the highest in the case of samples, completely coated with TiO2 nanoparticles.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • Journal of Advanced Microscopy Research (JAMR) provides a forum for rapid dissemination of important developments in high-resolution microscopy techniques to image, characterize and analyze man-made and natural samples; to study physicochemical phenomena such as abrasion, adhesion, corrosion and friction; to perform micro and nanofabrication, lithography, patterning, micro and nanomanipulation; theory and modeling, as well as their applications in all areas of science, engineering, and medicine.
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