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Journal of Materials
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 614507, 6 pages
Research Article

Nanocomposites of Polyaniline and Cellulose Nanocrystals Prepared in Lyotropic Chiral Nematic Liquid Crystals

1School of Polymer Science and Engineering, Qingdao 266042, China
2Key Laboratory of Rubber-Plastics of Ministry of Education, Qingdao 266042, China
3Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Rubber-Plastics, Qingdao 266042, China

Received 25 January 2013; Revised 15 March 2013; Accepted 20 March 2013

Academic Editor: Ram Katiyar

Copyright © 2013 Dawei Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Stable lyotropic chiral nematic liquid crystals (N*-LCs) of cellulose nanocrystals (CNs) were prepared via hydrolysis using sulfuric acid. The lyotropic N*-LCs were used as an asymmetric reaction field to synthesize polyaniline (PANI) onto CNs by in situ polymerization. As a primary step, we examined the mesophase transition of the N*-LCs of CNs suspension before and after in situ polymerization of aniline (ANI) by polarizing optical microscopy. The structure of nanocomposites of PANI/CNs was investigated at a microscopic level using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction. Influence of the CNs-to-ANI ratio on the morphology of the nanocomposites was also investigated at macroscopic level by scanning electron and transmission electron microscopies. It is found that the weight ratio of CNs to aniline in the suspension significantly influenced the size of the PANI particles and interaction between CNs and PANI. Moreover, electrical properties of the obtained PANI/CNs films were studied using standard four-probe technique. It is expected that the lyotropic N*-LCs of CNs might be available for an asymmetric reaction field to produce novel composites of conjugated materials.