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Modulating the Structural Orientation of Nanocellulose Composites through Mechano-Stimuli

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-10-15, 17:42 authored by Dan Qu, Guang Chu, Patrick Martin, Gleb Vasilyev, Rita Vilensky, Eyal Zussman
It is of great interest to dynamically manipulate the optical property by controlling nanostructures under external stimuli. In this work, chiral photonic cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) and elastic polyurethane (PU) composite films demonstrate reversible optical tunability arising from structural transition between the chiral nematic and layered pseudonematic order. The composite films exhibit impressive water resistance and mechanical adaptability. Reversible modulation of the optical property of the composite CNC/PU film is enabled during mechanical stretching and water absorption. Film stretching is accompanied by CNC transition from a chiral nematic to layered pseudonematic structure. After fixation, shape recovery takes place when exposed to water, and the CNC structure reverts to the initial chiral nematic order. These reversibly switchable shape and optical properties further advance the study and design of smart optical and mechanical sensors.