Nanocellulose materials for photoelectronic devices
University of New Brunswick
Nanocellulose is an interesting building block for functional materials and has gained considerable interest due to its unique properties. Optical and mechanical properties of nanocellulose films were studied to have a deep understanding of their potential for photoelectronic applications. Photoelectronic device substrates require high mechanical strength and optical transparency. In this work, the impact of production method using mechanical refining and chemical pretreatment (TEMPO) on these properties was evaluated. Bleached softwood kraft wood pulp fibres were used as start material for producing nanocellulose fibres. Mechanical refining using a KRK or a PFI refiner and TEMPO oxidation processing were used. Handsheet paper or films made from the resulting nanocellulose fibres were made and both physical strength and optical properties such as transparency and haze were evaluated. Results show that TEMPO oxidized films had superior mechanical and optical properties than the films produced from mechanical refining method. This high-performance, nanocellulose film is a promising renewable material for a new generation of solar panel and other optoelectronic devices.