Abstract: This paper addresses two fundamental issues in the peak deconvolution method of cellulose XRD data analysis: there is no standard model for amorphous cellulose and common peak functions such as Gauss, Lorentz and Voigt functions do not fit the amorphous profile well. It first examines the effects of ball milling on three types of cellulose and results show that ball milling transforms all samples into a highly amorphous phase exhibiting nearly identical powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) profiles. It is hypothesized that short range order within a glucose unit and between adjacent units survives ball milling and generates the characteristic amorphous XRD profiles. This agrees well with cellulose I d-spacing measurements and oligosaccharide XRD analysis. The amorphous XRD profile is modeled using a Fourier series equation where the coefficients are determined using the nonlinear least squares method. A new peak deconvolution method then is proposed to analyze cellulose XRD data with the amorphous Fourier model function in conjunction with standard Voigt functions representing the crystalline peaks. The impact of background subtraction method has also been assessed. Analysis of several cellulose samples was then performed and compared to the conventional peak deconvolution methods with common peak fitting functions and background subtraction approach. Results suggest that prior peak deconvolution methods overestimate cellulose crystallinity. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics