, Volume 24, Issue 8, pp 3341–3351 | Cite as

Bacterial cellulose based flexible multifunctional nanocomposite sheets

  • V. Thiruvengadam
  • Satish VittaEmail author
Original Paper


Bacterial cellulose is an ideal material that is sustainable, biodegradable and inherently capable of functionalization. Hence this has been functionalized with a single component, Ni to exhibit multiple functionalities such as electrical conductivity, magnetic sensitivity as well as catalytic activity in both dried and hydrogel forms. A novel, simple ‘inverse chemical reduction’ technique has been developed to incorporate this component and make bacterial cellulose multifunctional. This technique mercerizes and opens the interfibrillar spaces which results in the formation of nanoparticles that lead to percolating paths for conduction. The flexible sheet becomes electrically conducting with just 20 vol% of nanoparticles in the composite as determined by thermogravimetry. The room temperature electrical conductance increases by about 7 orders of magnitude, 10−6–10 S on changing the Ni-precursor solution concentration from 0.015 to 0.02 M, indicating this to be the critical concentration for conduction percolation. The composites are highly magnetic at room temperature with a maximum energy product of 140 J m−3, comparable to some of the commercially available bonded oxide magnets. The hydrogel form of the nanocomposite is found to be catalytically active. The catalytic activity is retained even after leaving the nanocomposite hydrogel in water for 12 h in water.


Bacterial cellulose Electrical conductor Catalyst Nanocomposite Magnetic actuator 



Authors would like to thank IITB central facilities for providing X-ray diffraction and electron microscope facilities for structural characterization and SVSM, PPMS facility for magnetic characterization.

Author contributions

SV and VT conceptualized the work, VT performed all the experiments. The manuscript was written by SV and VT.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MOV 5374 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MOV 3969 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (MOV 7222 kb)

10570_2017_1350_MOESM4_ESM.docx (15 mb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOCX 15315 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Metallurgical Engineering and Materials ScienceIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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