Research Papers


, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 161-168

First online:

Studies of crystalline native celluloses using potential energy calculations

  • Alvo AablooAffiliated withInstitute of Experimental Physics and Technology, University of Tartu
  • , Alfred D. FrenchAffiliated withSouthern Regional Research Center, US Department of Agriculture
  • , Raik-Hiio MikelsaarAffiliated withInstitute of General and Molecular Pathology, University of Tartu
  • , Aleksandr J. PertsinAffiliated withInstitute of Element-Organic Compounds

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Energies for various trial packing arrangements of unit cells for the Iα and Iβ phases of native cellulose discovered by Sugiyamaet al. were evaluated. Both a rigid-ring method, PLMR, and the full-optimization, molecular mechanics program, MM3(90), were used. For both phases the models that had the lowest PLMR energy also had the lowest MM3 energy. Both calculated models have the chains packed ‘up’, O6s intg positions, and the same sheets of hydrogen-bonded chains. The Iβ structure model is essentially identical to that proposed previously for ramie cellulose by Woodcock and Sarko. It is also the same as the best parallel model previously proposed that was based on the X-ray data of Mann, Gonzalez and Wellard, once the various unit cell conventions are considered. Also, the energies from both methods for all three celluloses, Iα, Iβ and II, are in the order that rationalizes their relative stabilites.


cellulose I molecular mechanics crystal structure molecular modelling