Nanoparticles, as one of the key materials in nanotechnology and nanomedicine, have gained significant importance during the past decade. While metal-based nanoparticles are associated with synthetic and environmental hassles, cellulose introduces a green, sustainable alternative for nanoparticle synthesis. Here, we present the chemical synthesis and separation procedures to produce new classes of hairy nanoparticles (bearing both amorphous and crystalline regions) and biopolymers based on wood fibers. Through periodate oxidation of soft wood pulp, the glucose ring of cellulose is opened at the C2-C3 bond to form 2,3-dialdehyde groups. Further heating of the partially oxidized fibers (e.g., T = 80 °C) results in three products, namely fibrous oxidized cellulose, sterically stabilized nanocrystalline cellulose (SNCC), and dissolved dialdehyde modified cellulose (DAMC), which are well separated by intermittent centrifugation and co-solvent addition. The partially oxidized fibers (without heating) were used as a highly reactive intermediate to react with chlorite for converting almost all aldehyde to carboxyl groups. Co-solvent precipitation and centrifugation resulted in electrosterically stabilized nanocrystalline cellulose (ENCC) and dicarboxylated cellulose (DCC). The aldehyde content of SNCC and consequently surface charge of ENCC (carboxyl content) were precisely controlled by controlling the periodate oxidation reaction time, resulting in highly stable nanoparticles bearing more than 7 mmol functional groups per gram of nanoparticles (e.g., as compared to conventional NCC bearing << 1 mmol functional group/g). Atomic force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) attested to the rod-like morphology. Conductometric titration, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), dynamic light scattering (DLS), electrokinetic-sonic-amplitude (ESA) and acoustic attenuation spectroscopy shed light on the superior properties of these nanomaterials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)