Preparation and properties of cellulose nanocrystals: Rods, spheres, and network

Ping Lu, You Lo Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

768 Scopus citations


Cellulose nanocrystals with rod, sphere, and network morphologies were prepared by acid hydrolysis of cotton cellulose, followed by freeze-drying. Hydrolysis with sulfuric acid introduced sulfate groups to these nanocrystal surfaces permitting their dispersion in aqueous as well as organic media, including ethanol and N,N-dimethylformamide, in a matter of seconds. Freeze-drying, on the other hand, induced mesoporosity (91.99 ± 2.57 average pore width) and significantly improved specific surface (13.362 m 2/g) that is about 9 times of the original cellulose (1.547 m 2/g). Moreover, the nanocrystals exhibited improved thermal conductivity and considerably higher (nearly 30%) carbonaceous residue, possibly due to direct solid-to-gas decomposition. These results demonstrated that a combination of surface charge introduction and fixation of mesoporosity in cellulose nanocrystals is an efficient route to prepare large quantity of high quality cellulose nanocrystals with quick re-dispersion capability for practical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 5 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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