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Nanoscale Hygromechanical Behavior of Lignin

Published

Author(s)

Kristen M. Hess, Jason P. Killgore, Wil Srubar

Abstract

The nanoscale hygromechanical behavior of lignin is presented in this work. Three atomic force microscopy experimental methods were used to correlate moisture sorption of lignin to its mechanicalbehavior. First, sorption isotherms were established using cantilever mass sensing and subsequently predicted using the Guggenheim–Anderson–de Boer model. The sorption isotherms of lignin particles followed a repeatable and cyclic trend reaching a maximum moisture content of & 17% at & 79% relative humidity (RH). Second, 3D nanomechanical contrast images were obtained using contact resonance force microscopy (CR-FM) to observe the hygromechanical response of lignin over three RH cycles. Finally, force volume mapping and the Hertz model were used to compute the elastic modulus of lignin as a function of moisture content. As RH increased, CR-FM measurements revealed initial topographical heterogeneity, as well as notable surface softening, especially in initially smooth domains. The average elastic modulus of the smooth domain decreased from 9.0 to 4.3 to 2.4 GPa as the moisture content increased from 0.024 to 9.1 to 17.3%, respectively. Cyclic measurements confirm that the elastic modulus of lignin rebounds upon moisture desorption.
Citation
Cellulose

Keywords

The nanoscale hygromechanical behavior of lignin is presented in this work. Three atomic force microscopy experimental methods were used to correlate moisture sorption of lignin to its mechanical behavior. First, sorption isotherms were established using cantilever mass sensing and subsequently predicted using the Guggenheim–Anderson–de Boer model. The sorption isotherms of lignin particles followed a repeatable and cyclic trend reaching a maximum moisture content of & 17% at & 79% relative humidity (RH). Second, 3D nanomechanical contrast images were obtained using contact resonance force microscopy (CR-FM) to observe the hygromechanical response of lignin over three RH cycles. Finally, force volume mapping and the Hertz model were used to compute the elastic modulus of lignin as a function of moisture content. As RH increased, CR-FM measurements revealed initial topographical heterogeneity, as well as notable surface softening, especially in initially smooth domains. The average elastic modulus of the smooth domain decreased from 9.0 to 4.3 to 2.4 GPa as the moisture content increased from 0.024 to 9.1 to 17.3%, respectively. Cyclic measurements confirm that the elastic modulus of lignin rebounds upon moisture desorption. lignin, elastic modulus, mositure sorption isotherms, AFM

Citation

Hess, K. , Killgore, J. and Srubar, W. (2018), Nanoscale Hygromechanical Behavior of Lignin, Cellulose, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=924913 (Accessed September 22, 2021)
Created September 21, 2018, Updated July 9, 2020