With the arising of global climate change and resource shortage, in recent years, increased attention has been paid to environmentally friendly materials. Trees are sustainable and renewable materials, which give us shelter and oxygen and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Trees are a primary resource that human society depends upon every day, for example, homes, heating, furniture, and aircraft. Wood from trees gives us paper, cardboard, and medical supplies, thus impacting our homes, school, work, and play. All of the above-mentioned applications have been well developed over the past thousands of years. However, trees and wood have much more to offer us as advanced materials, impacting emerging high-tech fields, such as bioengineering, flexible electronics, and clean energy. Wood naturally has a hierarchical structure, composed of well-oriented microfibers and tracheids for water, ion, and oxygen transportation during metabolism. At higher magnification, the walls of fiber cells have an interesting morphology-a distinctly mesoporous structure. Moreover, the walls of fiber cells are composed of thousands of fibers (or macrofibrils) oriented in a similar angle. Nanofibrils and nanocrystals can be further liberated from macrofibrils by mechanical, chemical, and enzymatic methods. The obtained nanocellulose has unique optical, mechanical, and barrier properties and is an excellent candidate for chemical modification and reconfiguration. Wood is naturally a composite material, comprised of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Wood is sustainable, earth abundant, strong, biodegradable, biocompatible, and chemically accessible for modification; more importantly, multiscale natural fibers from wood have unique optical properties applicable to different kinds of optoelectronics and photonic devices. Today, the materials derived from wood are ready to be explored for applications in new technology areas, such as electronics, biomedical devices, and energy. The goal of this study is to review the fundamental structures and chemistries of wood and wood-derived materials, which are essential for a wide range of existing and new enabling technologies. The scope of the review covers multiscale materials and assemblies of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin as well as other biomaterials derived from wood, in regard to their major emerging applications. Structure properties application relationships will be investigated in detail. Understanding the fundamental properties of these structures is crucial for designing and manufacturing products for emerging applications. Today, a more holistic understanding of the interplay between the structure, chemistry, and performance of wood and wood-derived materials is advancing historical applications of these materials. This new level of understanding also enables a myriad of new and exciting applications, which motivate this review. There are excellent reviews already on the classical topic of woody materials, and some recent reviews also cover new understanding of these materials as well as potential applications. This review will focus on the uniqueness of woody materials for three critical applications: green electronics, biological devices, and energy storage and bioenergy.
American Chemical Society (ACS), 2016. Vol. 116, no 16, 9305-9374 p.