Hybrid Nanocomposites for 3D Optics: Using Interpolymer Complexes with Cellulose Nanocrystals

Ruiyan Zhang, Guang Chu, Gleb Vasilyev, Patrick Martin, Andrea Camposeo, Luana Persano, Dario Pisignano, Eyal Zussman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Manipulation of optical paths by three-dimensional (3D) integrated optics with customized stacked building blocks has gained considerable attention. Herein, we present functional thin films with assembly ability for 3D integrated optics based on nanocomposites made of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) embedded in hydrogen-bonded (H-bonded) interpolymer complexes (IPCs). We selected H-bonded IPC poly(ethylene oxide) and neutralized poly(acrylic acid) to render films assembly ability without undesired interplay with charge distribution in CNCs. The CNCs can form a stable chiral nematic liquid crystalline phase with long-range orientational order and helical organization. The resulting nanocomposites are characterized with a high elastic modulus of 8.8 GPa and an adhesion strength of 1.35 MPa through reversible intermolecular interactions at the contact interface upon exposure to acidic vapor. Instead, simply stacked into 3D optics, these functional thin films serve as a facile material for providing a conceptually simple approach to assemble 3D integrated optics with different liquid crystalline orderings to manipulate the light polarization state.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19324-19330
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number21
StatePublished - 29 May 2019


  • adhesion
  • cellulose nanocrystals
  • interpolymer complex
  • liquid crystals
  • nanocomposite

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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