Polymer Bulletin

, Volume 65, Issue 6, pp 635–642 | Cite as

Magnetic alignment of cellulose nanowhiskers in an all-cellulose composite

  • Dongsheng Li
  • Zuyan Liu
  • Marwan Al-Haik
  • Mehran Tehrani
  • Frank Murray
  • Rina Tannenbaum
  • Hamid Garmestani
Original Paper


Unidirectional reinforced nanocomposite paper was fabricated from cellulose nanowhiskers and wood pulp under an externally applied magnetic field. A 1.2 Tesla magnetic field was applied in order to align the nanowhiskers in the pulp as it was being formed into a sheet of paper. The magnetic alignment was driven by the characteristic negative diamagnetic anisotropy of the cellulose nanowhiskers. ESEM micrographs demonstrated unidirectional alignment of the nanowhiskers in the all-cellulose composite paper. Comparing with control paper sheets made from wood pulp only, the storage modulus in the all-cellulose nanocomposites increased dramatically. The storage modulus along the direction perpendicular to the magnetic field was much stronger than that parallel to the magnetic field. This new nanocomposite, which contains preferentially oriented microstructures and has improved mechanical properties, demonstrates the possibility of expanding the functionality of paper products and constitutes a promising alternative to hydrocarbon based materials and fibers.


Cellulose nanowhiskers Unidirectional Magnetic alignment Nanocomposite All-cellulose 



This research was supported by Institute of Paper Science and Technology (IPST) at Georgia Institute of Technology under contract No. 1806E42. Also helpful assistance of Issak Rudman from IPST is highly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dongsheng Li
    • 1
  • Zuyan Liu
    • 2
  • Marwan Al-Haik
    • 3
  • Mehran Tehrani
    • 3
  • Frank Murray
    • 4
  • Rina Tannenbaum
    • 2
  • Hamid Garmestani
    • 2
  1. 1.Fundamental and Computational Sciences DirectoratePacific Northwest National LaboratoryRichlandUSA
  2. 2.School of Materials Science and EngineeringGeorgia Institute of TechnologyAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Engineer Science and MechanicsVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Paper Science and TechnologyAtlantaUSA

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