, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 5417–5429 | Cite as

Structure characterization of cellulose nanofiber hydrogel as functions of concentration and ionic strength

  • Lihong Geng
  • Xiangfang Peng
  • Chengbo Zhan
  • Ali Naderi
  • Priyanka R. Sharma
  • Yimin MaoEmail author
  • Benjamin S. HsiaoEmail author
Original Paper


Carboxylated cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), having an average width of 7 nm and thickness of 1.5 nm, were produced by TEMPO (2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl radical)-mediated oxidation method. The fiber cross-sectional dimensions were determined using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy techniques, where the rheological properties under different concentration and ionic strength were also investigated. The formation of hydrogel was evidenced by increasing the CNF concentration or ionic strength of the solvent (water), while the gel structure in ion-induced CNF hydrogels was found to be relatively inhomogeneous. The gelation behavior was closely related to the segmental aggregation of charged CNF, which could be quantitatively characterized by the correlation length (ξ) from the low-angle scattering profile and the scattering invariant (Q) in SAXS.


Cellulose nanofibers SAXS Gelation Concentration Ionic strength 



The authors would like to thank the SusChEM Program of National Science Foundation (DMR-1409507) for the financial support. The authors acknowledge the technical support of the 7.3.3 beamline in ALS, LBNL and the NG7-30 m beamline in NCNR, NIST. The authors would also like to thank Dr. Dufei Fang, Stony Brook University, for composing the ribbon model program using the software of SASView, originally developed under the NSF award DMR-0520547. In addition, L.G. would like to thank the Chinese Scholarship Council for the financial support of his overseas study in the U.S. and A.N. would like to thank the Gunnar Sundblad Foundation for supporting his study at Stony Brook University.

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Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 82 kb) Notes Product Disclaimer: The identification of any commercial product or trade name does not imply endorsement or recommendation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Engineer Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing, the Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of Ministry of EducationSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA
  3. 3.Innventia ABStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  5. 5.NIST Center for Neutron ResearchNational Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

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