Grafting polycaprolactone diol onto cellulose nanocrystals via click chemistry: Enhancing thermal stability and hydrophobic property

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Hydrophobic and thermally-stable cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) were synthesized by polycarpolactone diol (PCL diol) grafting via click chemistry strategy. The synthesis was designed as a three-step procedure containing azide-modification of CNCs, alkyne-modification of PCL diol and sequent copper(I)-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition reaction. The structure of azide-modified CNCs and alkyne-modified PCL diol, the structure, hydrophobic ability and thermal stability of click products CNC-PCL were characterized. FTIR, XPS and H NMR results indicated a successful grafting of the N groups onto the CNCs, synthesis of PCL diol-CCH, and formation of the CNC-PCL material. CNC-PCL had enhanced dispersion in the non-polar solvent chloroform owing to the well-maintained microscale size and PCL-induced hydrophobic surface. The thermal stability of CNC-PCL was largely increased due to the grafting of thermally-stable PCL. This work demonstrates that click chemistry is an attractive modification strategy to graft CNCs with polyester chains for further potential application in polymer composites.

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Carbohydrate polymers

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