Rapid Determination of the Distribution of Cellulose Nanomaterial Aggregates in Composites Enabled by Multi-Channel Spectral Confocal Microscopy

Marcus Johns, Anna Lewandowska, Stephen J. Eichhorn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

4 Citations (Scopus)
187 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is increased interest in the use of cellulose nanomaterials for the mechanical reinforcement of composites due to their high stiffness and strength. However, challenges remain in accurately determining their distribution within composite microstructures. We report the use of a range of techniques used to image aggregates of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) greater than 10 μm2 within a model thermoplastic polymer. Whilst Raman imaging accurately determines CNC aggregate size, it requires extended periods of analysis and the limited observable area results in poor reproducibility. In contrast, staining the CNCs with a fluorophore enables rapid acquisition with high reproducibility, but overestimates the aggregate size as CNC content increases. Multi-channel spectral confocal laser scanning microscopy is presented as an alternative technique that combines the accuracy of Raman with the speed and reproducibility of conventional confocal laser scanning microscopy, enabling the rapid determination of CNC aggregate distribution within composites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-689
Number of pages8
JournalMicroscopy and Microanalysis
Volume25
Issue number3
Early online date6 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • cellulose
  • nanomaterials
  • composites
  • confocal microscopy
  • spectral imaging
  • confocal Raman spectroscopy

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