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Exploring the diffusion behavior of urea aqueous solution in the viscose film by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy

  • Yan Dong
  • Lei Hou
  • Peiyi WuEmail author
Original Research


The diffusion mechanism of the urea aqueous solution in the viscose film is investigated by time-resolved attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy combining with perturbation correlation moving window technique. Two stages can be observed during the whole diffusion process: (1) water diffuses from urea aqueous solution into the viscose film, (2) urea and water diffuse simultaneously through the viscose film. Additionally, the diffusion curve of urea in the viscose film fits Fickian diffusion model, and the diffusion coefficients can be calculated accordingly. It is shown that the diffusion rate of urea slightly decreases with increasing concentration. Furthermore, considering the frequency shift of bands attributed to C–O stretching vibration (mainly –CH2–O(6)H groups) of cellulose, it is suggested that water molecules are the dominant component interacting with cellulose by first breaking the native hydrogen-bonding network in the amorphous region and then building new cellulose-water hydrogen bonds during the diffusion process. On the other hand, urea molecules merely decrease the diffusion mobility of aqueous solutions by immobilizing the water molecules and forming urea-water associations in the viscose film. Thus, it is inferred that urea molecules play an indirect role by influencing the mobility of water molecules rather than directly interacting with cellulose chain in the viscose film during diffusion. The results herein could provide guidance in the filed of urea’s function in reactive dye printing and cellulose dissolution.

Graphic abstract


Viscose film Urea aqueous solution Diffusion behavior ATR-FTIR spectroscopy 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from the National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (No. 21803010, 51733003), Shanghai Sailing Program (18YF1401100), National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents (BX201700048), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2018M631979), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.

Supplementary material

10570_2020_2997_MOESM1_ESM.docx (6.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 6523 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Science and Technology of Eco-Textiles, Ministry of Education, College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and BiotechnologyDonghua UniversityShanghaiChina

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