Studies of Interactions Between Rod-like Celulose Nanocrystals and Xylan and Pullulan Derivatives: A Light Scattering Study

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Virginia Tech

Interactions between polysaccharide derivatives and rod-like cellulose nanocrystals were studied by light scattering. Two replicates of cellulose nanocrystals (DOE-2-12A and DOE-2-12B) were probed with polarized and depolarized dynamic light scattering. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy experiments showed sulfate groups on cellulose nanocrystals. Decay rates from polarized dynamic light scattering experiments exhibited a significantly smaller angular dependence for both samples. However, DOE-2-12B showed a smaller angular dependence than DOE-2-12A. Lengths and diameters of DOE-2-12A and DOE-2-12B obtained by Broersma's formula were 229 " 19 and 19 " 7 nm and 240 " 18 and 22 " 6 nm, respectively. The resultant length and diameter of DOE-2-12B were comparable to those for cellulose whiskers obtained from cotton.

Adsorption of pullulan 4-chlorocinnamate (P4CC03) onto cellulose nanocrystals (DOE-2-12B) was also studied by UV-Vis spectroscopy, zeta-potential measurements, and polarized and depolarized dynamic light scattering. UV-Vis spectroscopy of the P4CC03/water binary system and in situ light scattering showed UV crosslinking of pullulan 4-chlorocinnamate occurred in binary and ternary systems but led to different aggregation behavior in the two ternary systems: PreX where P4CC03 crosslinking occurred prior to the addition of cellulose nanocrystals and Rxn where cellulose nanocrystals were present during UV exposure. These studies showed P4CC03 adsorbed onto cellulose nanocrystals and UV induced crosslinking occurred at the surface of the cellulose nanocrystals. Zeta-potential measurements also showed that P4CC03 adsorbed onto cellulose nanocrystals.

Finally, adsorption of 2-hydroxypropyltrimethylammonium xylans (HPMAXs) of degree of molar substitution MS = 0.34 onto rod-like cellulose nanocrystals (DOE-2-12Bs) were probed with zeta-potential measurements and polarized and depolarized dynamic light scattering. Zeta-potential changes of HPMAX/water, HPMAX/DOE-2-12B/water, and DOE-2-12B/water systems showed HPMAX adsorption onto DOE-2-12Bs. Intensity autocorrelation functions from Hv and Vv mode exhibited partial heterodyning. Decay time distributions of the binary and ternary systems showed that aggregates existed in the binary system but disappeared in the ternary system. These observations revealed that HPMAX adsorbed onto a fraction of the cellulose nanocrystals in the ternary system at low concentrations of HPMAX. Decreasing translational and rotational diffusion coefficients with increasing HPMAX concentration indicated HPMAX adsorption onto cellulose nanocrystals. A significant HPMAX concentration dependence of the ratio of rotational diffusion coefficient to translational diffusion coefficient showed strong adsorptive interactions between HPMAX and DOE-2-12B.

These studies showed there were interactions between polysaccharides and cellulose nanocrystals even in very dilute solutions. Also, it was shown that probe diffusion studies with rod-like cellulose nanocrystals is a promising strategy for probing complicated polymer solutions.

Light Scattering, Cellulose Nanocrystal, Pullulan, Xylan