, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 19–32 | Cite as

Effect of microcrystallite preparation conditions on the formation of colloid crystals of cellulose



Stable colloidal suspensions of cellulose microcrystallites may be prepared from filter paper by sulfuric acid hydrolysis. Above a critical concentration, the suspensions form a chiral nematic ordered phase, or ‘colloid crystal’. The preparation conditions govern the properties of the individual cellulose microcrystallites, and hence the liquid crystalline phase separation of the cellulose suspensions. The particle properties and the phase separation of the suspensions were strongly dependent on the hydrolysis temperature and time, and on the intensity of the ultrasonic irradiation used to disperse the particles. The particle size of the microcrystallites was characterized with transmission electron microscopy and photon correlation spectroscopy. The surface charge was determined by conductometric titration. It was possible to fractionate the microcrystallites by size using the partitioning between isotropic and liquid crystalline phases; the longer microcrystallites migrate to the liquid crystalline phase

microcrystallite colloid-crystal ultrasound anisotropic phase hydrolysis 


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© Chapman and Hall 1998

Authors and Affiliations

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    • 1
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  1. 1.Paprican and Department of ChemistryMcGill University, Pulp and Paper Research Centre MontrealQuebecCanada

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