MSE Seminar - Cellulosic Nanomaterials: Processing and Structural Control
Speaker: Dr. Lars Berglund, Professor/Division Head, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Title: Cellulosic Nanomaterials: Processing and Structural Control
Cellulosic materials are of increasing interest due to their potential in eco-friendly materials, but also due to research progress in the nanocellulose area. Long slender cellulose nanofibrils, or shorter, rod-like cellulose nanocrystals are studied for basic understanding and for use in new cellulosic nanomaterials such as films, membranes, polymer matrix nanocomposites, coatings, adhesives, aerogels, foams, inorganic/organic hybrids and novel types of functional materials, including applications in organic electronics and photonics.
Nanocellulose materials are already used in industry, but nano-structural characteristics are not fully controlled and used. The reason is the difficulty to realize controlled nanoscale component assembly under the demands of industrial scale processing. In order to address these challenges, better characterization methods are needed. New processing concepts, in particular in the context of polymer nanocomposites, are also needed where structural control can be exercised. Interface problems need to be addressed, in particular in the context of moist environments, where properties of cellulosic materials are sensitive to changes in external conditions.
Specific challenges with cellulosic materials are presented with the objective to analyze possibilities to obtain true nano-structural control. Although plant-based nanocellulose “particles” can be chemically heterogeneous, and the size distribution can be wide, there is a need for underpinning research in support of technical developments in eco-friendly and functional cellulose materials.