Correlation between structural properties and iridescent colors of cellulose nanocrystalline films
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We investigate the effect of shear flow applied during the drying of aqueous suspension of cellulose nanocrystals on optical reflective properties and structural characteristics of the resulting solidified films. Shear flow can significantly improve internal structural homogeneity of the films, while its effect on optical reflective properties is relatively minor. The measured width of the selective reflection peak is an order of magnitude larger than expected for an ideal helically modulated structure, which reflects a distribution of pitch values and possibly also of regimes of distorted helical modulation. We attribute these imperfections to the broad size distribution of the cellulose nanocrystals.