Biomacromolecules, Vol.21, No.5, 1952-1961, 2020
Surface-Initiated Controlled Radical Polymerization Approach to In Situ Cross-Link Cellulose Nanofibrils with Inorganic Nanoparticles
This paper investigates a strategy to convert hydrophilic cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) into a hydrophobic highly cross-linked network made of cellulose nanofibrils and inorganic nanoparticles. First, the cellulose nanofibrils were chemically modified through an esterification reaction to produce a nanocellulose-based macroinitiator. Barium titanate (BaTiO3, BTO) nanoparticles were surface-modified by introducing a specific monomer on their outer-shell surface. Finally, we studied the ability of the nanocellulose-based macroinitiator to initiate a single electron transfer living radical polymerization of stearyl acrylate (SA) in the presence of the surface-modified nanoparticles. The BTO nanoparticles will transfer new properties to the nanocellulose network and act as a cross-linking agent between the nanocellulose fibrils, while the monomer (SA) directly influences the hydrophilic-lipophilic balance. The pristine CNF and the nanoparticle cross-linked CNF are characterized by FTIR, SEM, and solid-state C-13 NMR. Rheological and dynamic mechanical analyses revealed a high dregee of cross-linking.