Biomacromolecules, Vol.19, No.12, 4565-4575, 2018
Highly Transparent, Strong, and Flexible Films with Modified Cellulose Nanofiber Bearing UV Shielding Property
This work investigates multifunctional composite films synthesized with cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) and poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA). First, TEMPO-oxidized CNFs were modified in the heterogeneous phase with benzophenone, diisocyanate, and epoxidized soybean oil via esterification reactions. A thorough characterization was carried out via elemental analysis as well as FT-IR and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopies and solid-state NMR Following, the surface-modified CNFs were combined with PVA to endow composite films with UV-absorbing capabilities while increasing their thermomechanical strength and maintaining a high light transmittance. Compared to neat PVF films, the tensile strength, Young modulus, and elongation of the films underwent dramatic increases upon addition of the reinforcing phase (maximum values of, similar to 96 MPa, similar to 714 MPa, and similar to 350%, respectively). A high UV blocking performance, especially in the UVB region, was observed for the introduced multifunctional PVA films at CNF loadings below 5 wt %. The trade-off between modified nanofibril function as interfacial reinforcement and aggregation leads to an optimum loading. The results indicate promising applications, for example, in active packaging.