The lack of simple differentiation of all-polysaccharide-film components in nanoscale hinders unveiling their structure-property dependency. Submicron hierarchy of films of cellulose nanofibrils (CNFs) and carbohydrate-based additives was revealed via visualization of the components by their differentiating adhesion to an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) tip. The differentiation of the film components revealed that distribution of hydroxypropylated hemicellulose in the CNF matrix could be tuned by addition of a plasticizer. The hemicellulose hydroxypropylation degree of substitution (DS) was detected to be another parameter affecting the film structure due to the water-solubility depending on the DS. This was further verified via Quartz Crystal Microbalance with Dissipation Monitoring (QCM-D). The translucent, self-standing films comprising CNFs, sorbitol and hydroxypropylated hemicellulose were tested for mechanical, optical and oxygen diffusion performance. The performance was linked to their structural evenness, which confirmed that the oxygen diffusion through the film is tremendously affected by the film nano hierarchy.
- adhesion force mapping
- cellulose nanofibrils
- hemicellulose ethers
- hydroxypropylated hemicellulose
- polysaccharide films
- structure-property relationship