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High-Throughput Tailoring of Nanocellulose Films: From Complex Bio-Based Materials..

Full Title: High-Throughput Tailoring of Nanocellulose Films: From Complex Bio-Based Materials to Defined Multifunctional Architectures

Alexey Khakalo, Tapio Mäkelä, Leena-Sisko Johansson, Hannes Orelma, Tekla Tammelin

Abstract: This paper demonstrates a high-throughput approach to fabricate nanocellulose films with multifunctional performance using conventionally existing unit operations. The approach comprises cast-coating and direct interfacial atmospheric plasma-assisted gas-phase modification along with the microscale patterning technique (nanoimprint lithography, NIL), all applied in roll-to-roll mode, to introduce organic functionalities in conjunction with structural manipulation. Our strategy results in multifunctional cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) films in which the high optical transmittance (∼90%) is retained while the haze can be adjusted (2-35%). Concomitantly, the hydrophobic/hydrophilic balance can be tuned (50-21 mJ/m2 with the water contact angle ranging from ∼20 up to ∼120°), while intrinsic hygroscopicity of CNF films is not significantly compromised. Therefore, a challenge to produce multifunctional bio-based materials with properties defined by various high-performance applications conjoined to the lack of efficient processing strategies is elucidated. Overall, economically and ecologically viable strategy, which was realized by facile and upscalable unit operations using the R2R technology, is introduced to expand the properties' spaces and thus offer a vast variety of interesting applications for CNF films.

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