Cellulose-derived conductive nanofibrous materials for energy storage and tissue engineering applications
Doktorsavhandling, 2017

There is no doubt that nanofibrous materials are among the most opportune materials used in advanced applications nowadays. To supply anticipated high demand for these materials sustainable resources such as plant derived polymers should be explored. In this thesis, I demonstrate that the most abundant natural polymer cellulose is an excellent raw material for synthesis of new nanofibrous materials with valuable combination of properties such as electrical conductivity, porosity and topography. These materials can contribute to the solution of two rather different but equally important problems faced by modern society: lack of high power energy storage devices able to keep up with the technical progress and increased rate of neurodegenerative diseases, which inevitably accompanies an ageing population. In connection with the first problem, supercapacitors are considered to be devices of choice when high power energy supply is needed. However, the effectiveness of supercapacitors mostly depends on active materials traditionally made of porous carbons which are used for accumulation of electrostatic charges. At the moment, the production of carbon materials mostly relies on unsustainable fossil precursors. In the present work, I describe the fabrication of freestanding functional carbon nanofibrous (CNF) materials derived from cellulose via consecutive steps of cellulose acetate electrospinning, subsequent deacetylation to cellulose, and carbonization. I report innovative technologically simple and environmentally friendly method of CNF synthesis that significantly increases carbon yield (from 13% to 20%) and allows time reduction of the regeneration step. The obtained CNF materials are mechanically stable, have hydrophobic surface and consist of nitrogen-doped randomly oriented nanofibrous network. Moreover, the prospect of effective using of various modified CNF-based materials as electrodes in supercapacitors is demonstrated. Nitrogen-doped CNF materials have about 2.5 times higher specific capacitance than non-doped CNF materials due the positive effect of pseudocapacitance. Incorporation of highly conductive carbon nanotubes (double-walled CNTs, multi-walled CNTs and chemical vapor deposited CNTs) and reduced graphene oxide into the CNF frameworks further improves electrical conductivity and increases the surface area of the produced composite materials, which leads to high specific capacitance values (up to 241 F/g), cyclic stability, and power density of these materials. These results show that cellulose is a relevant precursor for the synthesis of sustainable and efficient carbonaceous electrodes for supercapacitors. Functionalization methods used in this study proved to be effective in enhancing the electrochemical performance of carbonized cellulose materials. In connection with the second problem, an emerging tissue engineering approach can help to cure neurodegenerative diseases of elderly population via development of healthy replacement neural tissues or in vitro models for drug testing. In this thesis, several cellulose-derived nanostructures, such as above-mentioned CNFs and fibrous electrospun cellulose incorporated with CNTs, are assessed as scaffolds for the growth of neural tissue. These scaffold materials are characterized with good biocompatibility, optimal nanosized topography and electrical conductivity to support adhesion, growth and differentiation of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells. Possibility of using inks from nanofibrillated cellulose for 3D printing allows even more effective assembly of designed conductive patterns for cell guidance. The results show prolific cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation of neural cells along the guidelines. In overall, the positive implementation of the cellulose-derived nanofibrous materials in the above mentioned applications suggest that the synthesis of sustainable and efficient materials based on renewable resources is a very prospective approach. Such materials should play a major role in our future effort to satisfy the increasing demand on functional high-tech products.

neural cells

supercapacitors

hydrogel inks

carbonization

cellulose

carbon composites

tissue engineering

energy storage

carbon nanofibers

3D printing

electrospinning

Kollektorn, MC2, Kemivägen 9, Chalmers.
Opponent: Prof. Stephen J. Eichhorn, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom.

Författare

Volodymyr Kuzmenko

Chalmers, Mikroteknologi och nanovetenskap (MC2), Elektronikmaterial och system

Sustainable carbon nanofibers/nanotubes composites from cellulose as electrodes for supercapacitors

Energy,; Vol. 90(2015)p. 1490-1496

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Solidification of 3D printed nanofibril hydrogels into functional 3D cellulose structures

Advanced Materials Technologies,; Vol. 1(2016)p. 1600096-

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Ammonium chloride promoted synthesis of carbon nanofibers from electrospun cellulose acetate

Carbon,; Vol. 67(2014)p. 694-703

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Hierarchical cellulose- derived CNF/CNT composites for electrostatic energy storage

Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering,; Vol. 26(2016)p. 124001-

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Capacitive effects of nitrogen doping on cellulose-derived carbon nanofibers

Materials Chemistry and Physics,; Vol. 160(2015)p. 59-65

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Enhanced growth of neural networks on conductive cellulose-derived nanofibrous scaffolds

Materials Science and Engineering C,; Vol. 58(2016)p. 14-23

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V. Kuzmenko, N. Wang, M. Haque, O. Naboka, M. Flygare, K. Svensson, P. Gatenholm, J. Liu and P. Enoksson, Highly conductive cellulose-derived carbon nanofibers/graphene composite electrodes for powerful compact supercapacitors.

V. Kuzmenko, E. Karabulut, E. Pernevik, P. Enoksson and P. Gatenholm, Tailor-made conductive inks from cellulose nanofibers for 3D printing of neural guidelines for study of neurodegenerative disorders.

Nanofibrous materials are among the most opportune materials used in advanced applications nowadays. No doubt, sustainable resources should be explored more intensively to supply high demand for new materials. In this thesis, I demonstrate that cellulose is an excellent raw material for synthesis of new nanofibrous materials with valuable combination of properties such as electrical conductivity, morphology and topography. In my opinion, these materials possibly will contribute to the solution of two rather different but equally important problems faced by modern society: high energy consumption and costs for medical care due to ageing population.

In connection with the first problem, supercapacitors are considered to be devices of choice when high power energy supply is needed. At the moment, the production of carbon electrodes for supercapacitors mostly relies on unsustainable fossil precursors. In the present work, I describe the innovative environmentally friendly fabrication method of freestanding functional carbon nanofibrous (CNF) materials derived from cellulose via consecutive steps of cellulose acetate electrospinning, subsequent deacetylation to cellulose, and carbonization. Moreover, I show how modified CNF-based materials can be effectively used as electrodes in supercapacitors. For example, nitrogen-doped CNF materials have about 2.5 times higher specific capacitance than non-doped CNF materials. And incorporation of highly conductive carbon nanotubes and reduced graphene oxide into the CNF frameworks further improves electrical conductivity and increases the surface area of the produced composite materials, which leads to high specific capacitance values, cyclic stability, and power density of these materials.

In connection with the second problem, I use a relatively new medical approach called tissue engineering that can help to cure neurodegenerative diseases of elderly population via development of healthy replacement neural tissues or in vitro models for drug testing. In this thesis, biocompatible and electrically conductive cellulose-derived nanomaterials are shown as suitable scaffolds for the attachment, proliferation and differentiation of neural cells. Possibility of using inks from nanofibrillated cellulose for 3D printing allows even more effective assembly of designed conductive patterns for cell guidance.

In overall, the positive implementation of the cellulose-derived nanofibrous materials in the above mentioned applications suggest that the synthesis of sustainable and efficient materials based on renewable resources is a very prospective approach. Such materials should play a major role in our future effort to satisfy the increasing demand on functional high-tech products.

Ämneskategorier

Polymerkemi

Materialkemi

Biomaterialvetenskap

Nanoteknik

Drivkrafter

Hållbar utveckling

Styrkeområden

Nanovetenskap och nanoteknik

Energi

Livsvetenskaper och teknik

Materialvetenskap

Infrastruktur

Nanotekniklaboratoriet

ISBN

978-91-7597-558-0

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4239, Technical report MC2-358

Utgivare

Chalmers tekniska högskola

Kollektorn, MC2, Kemivägen 9, Chalmers.

Opponent: Prof. Stephen J. Eichhorn, College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom.