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Tuning supramolecular interactions of cellulose nanocrystals to design innovative functional materials

Moreau, Céline, Villares, Ana, Capron, Isabelle, Cathala, Bernard
Industrial crops and products 2016 v.93 pp. 96-107
biocompatibility, biodegradability, cellulose, hydrogen bonding, hydrolysis, mechanical properties, nanocrystals, nanorods, van der Waals forces
Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) are obtained from controlled hydrolysis of cellulose microfibrils. They consist in crystalline nanorods that have attracted much attention due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, renewability and mechanical properties but also in reason of their interaction capacities. This review gives some insights into the versatile applications of CNCs arising from the non-covalent interactions they can establish to build and tune CNC-based supramolecular assemblies. The paper describes the use of (i) electrostatic interactions, (ii) van der Waals and hydrogen bonds and (iii) the uneven exposition of chemical groups due to crystalline organization of nanorods and their various form factors as approaches for the elaboration of functional materials. The interaction capacities are reported by emphasizing the specificity of CNCs and selected examples of CNC-based materials are described to illustrate each type of interaction.