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Cellulose nanocrystal-based materials: from liquid crystal self-assembly and glass formation to multifunctional thin films
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK). Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
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2014 (English)In: NPG Asia materials, ISSN 1884-4049, Vol. 6, e80Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), produced by the acid hydrolysis of wood, cotton or other cellulose-rich sources, constitute a renewable nanosized raw material with a broad range of envisaged uses: for example, in composites, cosmetics and medical devices. The intriguing ability of CNCs to self-organize into a chiral nematic (cholesteric) liquid crystal phase with a helical arrangement has attracted significant interest, resulting in much research effort, as this arrangement gives dried CNC films a photonic band gap. The films thus acquire attractive optical properties, creating possibilities for use in applications such as security papers and mirrorless lasing. In this critical review, we discuss the sensitive balance between glass formation and liquid crystal self-assembly that governs the formation of the desired helical structure. We show that several as yet unclarified observations-some constituting severe obstacles for applications of CNCs-may result from competition between the two phenomena. Moreover, by comparison with the corresponding self-assembly processes of other rod-like nanoparticles, for example, carbon nanotubes and fd virus particles, we outline how further liquid crystal ordering phenomena may be expected from CNCs if the suspension parameters can be better controlled. Alternative interpretations of some unexpected phenomena are provided, and topics for future research are identified, as are new potential application strategies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 6, e80
Keyword [en]
cholesteric, gel, glass, liquid crystal, nanocellulose, photonic crystal, self-assembly
National Category
Materials Chemistry
Research subject
Materials Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102496DOI: 10.1038/am.2013.69ISI: 000332185500001OAI: diva2:710442


Available from: 2014-04-07 Created: 2014-04-07 Last updated: 2015-04-16Bibliographically approved

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Schütz, ChristinaBergström, Lennart
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