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Incorporation into paper of cellulose triacetate films containing semiconductor nanoparticles

Abitbol, Tiffany, Gray, Derek G.
Cellulose 2009 v.16 no.2 pp. 319-326
absorbance, cellulose, cellulosic fibers, emissions, esters, fluorescence, hydrogen bonding, hydrolysis, hydrophobicity, paper, papermaking, polymers, quantum dots, slurries, toluene
CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) were embedded in films of cellulose triacetate (CTA) to give clear films with the broad absorbance and well-defined, size-tunable fluorescence characteristic of QDs. The relative quantum yields of the QDs in polymer were compared to that of the initial QDs dispersed in toluene. Alkaline hydrolysis of the film surfaces to regenerated cellulose rendered the previously hydrophobic CTA film surfaces hydrophilic and compatible with aqueous papermaking. Films containing combinations of different sized QDs gave more complex emission patterns. Small pieces of fluorescent films were added to pulp slurries and incorporated into laboratory paper sheets through hydrogen bonding between the regenerated cellulose film surfaces and cellulosic pulp fibers. The film system (cellulose ester bulk/cellulose surface) can be used to incorporate hydrophobic particles or molecules compatible with solutions of cellulosic polymers into paper products at both high and low loadings. QDs in paper may prove useful for security applications, such as sheets with unique optical signatures.