University of Oulu

J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123, 51, 30986-30995.

Comprehensive NMR analysis of pore structures in superabsorbing cellulose nanofiber aerogels

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Author: Kharbanda, Yashu1; Urbańczyk, Mateusz1; Laitinen, Ossi2;
Organizations: 1NMR Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Fibre and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
3National Centre for Nano Fabrication and Characterization, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
4Materials and Mechanical Engineering, Centre for Advanced Steels Research (CASR), University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Chemical Society, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-01-29


Highly porous cellulose nanofiber (CNF) aerogels are promising, environmentally friendly, reusable, and low-cost materials for several advanced environmental, biomedical, and electronic applications. The aerogels have a complex and hierarchical 3D porous network structure with pore sizes ranging from nanometers to hundreds of micrometers. The morphology of the network has a critical role on the performance of aerogels, but it is difficult to characterize thoroughly with traditional techniques. Here, we introduce a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy techniques for comprehensive characterization of pore sizes and connectivity in the CNF aerogels. Cyclohexane absorbed in the aerogels was used as a probe fluid. NMR cryoporometry enabled us to characterize the size distribution of nanometer scale pores in between the cellulose nanofibers in the solid matrix of the aerogels. Restricted diffusion of cyclohexane revealed the size distribution of the dominant micrometer scale pores as well as the tortuosity of the pore network. T2 relaxation filtered microscopic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method allowed us to determine the size distribution of the largest, submillimeter scale pores. The NMR techniques are nondestructive, and they provide information about the whole sample volume (not only surfaces). Furthermore, they show how absorbed liquids experience the complex 3D pore structure. Thorough characterization of porous structures is important for understanding the properties of the aerogels and optimizing them for various applications. The introduced comprehensive NMR analysis set is widely usable for a broad range of different kinds of aerogels used in different applications, such as catalysis, batteries, supercapacitors, hydrogen storage, etc.

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Kharbanda, Y., Urbańczyk, M., Laitinen, O., Kling, K., Pallaspuro, S., Komulainen, S., Liimatainen, H., Telkki, V. (2020) Correction to “Comprehensive NMR Analysis of Pore Structures in Superabsorbing Cellulose Nanofiber Aerogels”. J. Phys. Chem. C, 124, 14, 8055-8055.

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Series: The journal of physical chemistry. C
ISSN: 1932-7447
ISSN-E: 1932-7455
ISSN-L: 1932-7447
Volume: 123
Issue: 51
Pages: 30986 - 30995
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b08339
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 114 Physical sciences
116 Chemical sciences
Funding: We acknowledge the financial support of the European Research Council (ERC) under Horizon 2020 (H2020/2018-2022/ERC Grant Agreement No. 772110), Academy of Finland (Grants #289649, 294027, 319216, and 311934), and the Kvantum Institute (University of Oulu).
EU Grant Number: (772110) UFLNMR - Ultrafast Laplace NMR
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 289649
Detailed Information: 289649 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
294027 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
319216 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2019 American Chemical Society. This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.