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Formation of Highly Oriented Cellulose Nanocrystal Films by Spin Coating Film from Aqueous Suspensions

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Spin coating was used to cast a uniform film of cellulose nanocrystals with low surface roughness and variable thickness as a function of operational parameters that include rotational speed and dispense suspension concentration. The film thickness was controllable from 40 nm up to 1 μm with surface roughness an order of magnitude less than blade-coating methods. The degree of radial orientation was qualitatively assessed and shown to be variable with processing parameters. Under specific processing conditions, the formation of striation patterns was observed and associated with film drying instability. The striation patterns are periodic in nature where the wavelength and amplitude are controllable to a certain degree with wetting film concentration and rotational speed. The striation patterns possess ordered, oriented nanorods, which exist as both rippled ring-like structures and radial ridges along the shear direction. There is potential to employ these rippled structures as low-cost manufacturing of ordered materials, device platforms, or optical components such as diffraction gratings. Mechanical properties of the films were measured by nanoindentation. The maximum elastic modulus of the films was 8.3 GPa and the maximum hardness was 322 MPa. A post-drying heat treatment (80 °C) was employed and resulted in a 17% increase in modulus and 35% increase in hardness, which is attributed to the formation of an enhanced intermolecular hydrogen bonding network between nanocrystals with removal of bound water.
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Keywords: BIREFRINGENCE; CELLULOSE NANOCRYSTAL; SPIN COATING FILM; STRIATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2016-10-01

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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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