IMX Seminar Series - Cellulose Nanofibrils: from Single Particle Structure to Multiscale Material Assembly
The increasing global population and improved living standards demand a more efficient use of available resources and energy, and it is therefore critical to improve the use of sustainable resources without sacrificing the quality of materials and products. Cellulose nanofibrils from wood represents an important class of sustainable biocolloids with great promise for use in high performance nanomaterials due to their high specific strength and stiffness, chemical resilience and self-organizing behavior. Optimal use of nanocellulose in new materials, however, requires control of both the individual particle structure as well as how the particles are assembled over several length scales. Our fundamental work in this area is dedicated to an understanding of the single particle structure and properties, and how this structural knowledge can be used to understand and predict the controlled formation of higher order structures that ultimately lead to materials with optimized functionality. We use high-resolution microscopy to elucidate the physical properties of nanocellulose particles, follow their liquid crystal assembly in the light microscope, use physical scaling arguments to understand the different phases that are formed and combine this knowledge with external structuring techniques to form functional nanocellulose materials. In this overview presentation, I will describe our multiscale research approach specifically highlighting the nanoscale features of the cellulose nanofibrils and also give examples of how these particles can be used to produce functional materials in the form of gels, foams and 3D printed materials with integrated functionalities.
Bio: Gustav Nyström received his PhD in Engineering Physics from Uppsala University in 2012. Following postdoctoral work at KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm) with Lars Wågberg and Lars Berglund in the Wallenberg Wood Science Center and at ETH Zurich with Raffaele Mezzenga, he is since 2018 head of the Cellulose & Wood Materials laboratory at Empa and a Lecturer at ETH Zurich. He was the recipient of the Gunnar Sundblad Research Foundation’s Skills Development Prize (2014) and is a Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione Fellow (2016). His research focuses on the interactions between polymers, nanoparticles, and colloids from renewable resources with the aim of finding energy efficient routes to build high performance materials contributing to a sustainable future.
- General public
- Prof. Francesco Stellacci & Prof. Vaso Tileli