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Modification of nanofibrillated cellulose with stimuli-responsive polymers
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Research of new sustainable and low cost materials, such as cellulose, is of high interest. Modifications of the cellulose can be performed in order to create a “smart” material which responds to external stimuli, such as variations in pH and temperature, by changing its properties. This “smart” behavior is observed in some polymers, however, for certain applications they exhibit poor mechanical properties. These polymers can be bound by physical adsorption to cellulose, both in macro and nano scale, creating an improved “smart” composite material.

In this project, thermoresponsive block-copolymers with different lengths of poly (diethylene glycol) methacrylate (PDEGMA) and poly N-(2-dimethylamino ethyl) methacrylate (PDMAEMA) in only one length, PDMAEMA-b-PDEGMA, were synthesized employing atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP). 1H-NMR, SEC and DLS were used to characterize the block-copolymers. UV-Vis spectroscopy was employed to confirm the thermo-responsive behavior of the charged and uncharged block-copolymers, being lower for the higher molecular weight ones due to the higher polymer-polymer interactions. In a second step, PDMAEMA was charged positively by quaternization of its amine group with ICH3. Polyelectrolyte titration was used to determine the total number of charges in the quaternized block-copolymers. In addition, TEMPO-oxidized nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) was produced by procedures found in literature. Finally, adsorption of the cationic block-copolymers onto the anionic NFC in tris base at pH 8.3 was performed and purified by consecutive filtrations, creating a novel smart composite material with different PDEGMA lengths in the block-copolymer. FT-IR confirmed that the block-copolymers were successfully adsorbed to the NFC. TGA results showed a higher thermal stability for the composite than for the TEMPO-NFC and quaternized block-copolymers. The block-copolymer modified NFC exhibited thermoresponsive behavior with LCST’s ranging from 30 to 44 °C, from higher to lower molecular weights, respectively. 

Adsorption of polyelectrolytes in modified cellulose could be a promising way to create smart improved materials in further research.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
thermoresponsive, nanofibrillated cellulose, biocomposites, block-copolymer, stimuliresponsive
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-156201OAI: diva2:765771
Available from: 2014-11-25 Created: 2014-11-25 Last updated: 2014-11-25Bibliographically approved

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