Determining the complex refractive index of cellulose nanocrystals by combination of Beer-Lambert and immersion matching methods

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Publication Details
Author list: Niskanen, Ilpo;Thungström, Göran
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Publication year: 2019
Start page: 1
End page: 6
Number of pages: 6
ISSN: 0022-4073


Nanocelluloses have received significant interest due to their unique structural, mechanical, and optical properties. Nanocellulose refractive indices can be used to indicate many crucial characteristics, such as crystallinity, transparency, and purity. Thus, accurate measurement is important. This study describes a new method to determine the wavelength dependent complex refractive index of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) by the measurement of light transmittance with a spectrophotometer. The data analysis is based on a combination of the Beer-Lambert and immersion liquid matching equations. The immersion liquid methods main advantage is that it is independent of particle shape and size. Moreover, the measurement is easy and relatively quick to perform. The present procedure is not restricted to the nanocellulose and could potentially be applied to other nanomaterials, such as hyphenate nanoparticle-based, lignin nanoparticles, nanopigments, biological entities, structural elements of dielectric metamaterials, and nanoparticle-based composites.

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