Nanostructured materials from tailor-made polymeric nanoparticles and cellulose nanofibrils

PI: Eva Malmström, Lars Wågberg, Stephan Roth
PhD Student/Postdoc: Åsa Jerlhagen
Duration: March 2021 – March 2025 


Tailor-made polymer nanoparticles with controllable size and surface charge have been shown to improve toughness of cellulosic materials through the introduction of mechanisms for plastic deformation [1, 2]. It is hypothesized that these mechanisms that aid in plastic deformation also could be interesting in terms of thermal processability of lignocellulosic materials. This project aims to investigate on a fundamental level the deformation mechanisms that are introduced by tailor-made nanoparticles into cellulosic materials. 

Scientific: Investigate deformation mechanisms in cellulose nanofiber – polymer nanoparticle hybrid materials to develop understanding on modes of interaction between cellulose and these types of functional particles. 

Technical: Develop methodologies for investigation of film forming mechanisms, nanostructuring, material properties and thermal processability for hybrid materials. 

Description of how this project addresses the hypotheses in FibRe                                                                      
The fundamental understanding of interaction modes between cellulose and functional nanoparticles generated in this project will be of importance for developing thermally processable lignocellulosic materials in FibRe. 

1. Engström, J., et al., Soft and rigid core latex nanoparticles prepared by RAFT-mediated surfactant-free emulsion polymerization for cellulose modification – a comparative study. Polymer Chemistry, 2017. 8(6): p. 1061-1073.
2. Engström, J., A.M. Jimenez, and E. Malmström, Nanoparticle rearrangement under stress in networks of cellulose nanofibrils using in situ SAXS during tensile testing. Nanoscale, 2020. 12(11): p. 6462-6471.

Page manager Published: Wed 28 Sep 2022.