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Investigation of water diffusion process in ethyl cellulose-based films by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and two-dimensional correlation analysis

Abstract

Two-dimensional correlation spectroscopy (2Dcos) analysis on the time-resolved attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy has been employed to investigate the diffusion behavior of water in ethyl cellulose/triethyl citrate (EC/TEC) films with varied TEC content. The diffusion coefficients of water in the EC-based films are calculated from the diffusion curves according to the Fickian Diffusion Model. And they are observed to increase with TEC content, possibly caused by the increased free volume in the film matrix. In the 2Dcos analysis, the broad O–H stretching vibration region is split into at least four bands, which can be assigned to four different states of water molecules, that is, bulk water, cluster water, relatively free water and free water. Moreover, it is found that as water molecules disperse into the EC-based films, cluster water with moderate hydrogen bonds diffuses faster than bulk water with strong hydrogen bonds. The relatively free water and free water are formed during the diffusion process due to their interactions with the films matrix, which makes water molecules confined and restricted in limited space.

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Acknowledgments

We are very grateful for the financial support from DOW.

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Correspondence to Peiyi Wu.

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Lei Hou and Kai Feng have contributed equally to this work.

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Hou, L., Feng, K., Wu, P. et al. Investigation of water diffusion process in ethyl cellulose-based films by attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and two-dimensional correlation analysis. Cellulose 21, 4009–4017 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-014-0458-1

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Keywords

  • Ethyl cellulose
  • Water diffusion
  • ATR-FTIR
  • 2Dcos
  • Triethyl citrate