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Nanocellulose-Enabled Electronics, Energy Harvesting Devices, Smart Materials and Sensors: A Review

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Cellulose nanomaterials have a number of interesting and unique properties that make them well-suited for use in electronics applications such as energy harvesting devices, actuators and sensors. Cellulose nanofibrils and nanocrystals have good mechanical properties, high transparency, and low coefficient of thermal expansion, among other properties that facilitate both active and inactive roles in electronics and related devices. For example, these nanomaterials have been demonstrated to operate as substrates for flexible electronics and displays, to improve the efficiency of photovoltaics, to work as a component of magnetostrictive composites and to act as a suitable lithium ion battery separator membrane. A discussion and overview of additional potential applications and of previously published research using cellulose nanomaterials for these advanced applications is provided in this article. The concept of using cellulose nanofibrils in stimuli-responsive materials is illustrated with highlights of preliminary results from magnetostrictive nanocellulose membranes actuated using magnetic fields.
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Keywords: BATTERIES; CELLULOSE NANOCRYSTALS; CELLULOSE NANOFIBRILS; FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS; MAGNETOSTRICTIVE COMPOSITES; PHOTOVOLTAICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2016

This article was made available online on 10 June 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Nanocellulose-Enabled Electronics, Energy Harvesting Devices, Smart Materials and Sensors: A Review".

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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