Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 841–851 | Cite as

Computer-assisted quantification of the multi-scale structure of films made of nanofibrillated cellulose

Research Paper


Films made of nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) are most interesting for use in packaging applications. However, in order to understand the film-forming capabilities of NFC and their properties, new advanced methods for characterizing the different scales of the structures are necessary. In this study, we perform a comprehensive characterisation of NFC-films, based on desktop scanner analysis, scanning electron microscopy in backscatter electron imaging mode (SEM-BEI), laser profilometry (LP) and field-emission scanning electron microscopy in secondary electron imaging mode (FE-SEM-SEI). Objective quantification is performed for assessing the (i) film thicknesses, (ii) fibril diameters and (iii) fibril orientations, based on computer-assisted electron microscopy. The most frequent fibril diameter is 20–30 nm in diameter. A method for acquiring FE-SEM images of NFC surfaces without a conductive metallic layer is introduced. Having appropriate characterisation tools, the structural and mechanical properties of the films upon moisture were quantified.


Microfibrillated cellulose MFC Surface analysis High-resolution electron microscopy Image analysis Modelling and simulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paper and Fibre Research Institute (PFI AS)TrondheimNorway

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