Combining scattering analysis and atomistic simulation of wood-water interactions

Paavo A. Penttilä*, Antti Paajanen, Jukka A. Ketoja

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

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Molecular-scale interactions between water and cellulose microfibril bundles in plant cell walls are not fully understood, despite their crucial role for many applications of plant biomass. Recent advances in X-ray and neutron scattering analysis allow more accurate interpretation of experimental data from wood cell walls. At the same time, microfibril bundles including hemicelluloses and water can be modelled at atomistic resolution. Computing scattering patterns from atomistic models enables a new, complementary approach to decipher some of the most fundamental questions at this level of the hierarchical cell wall structure. This article introduces studies related to moisture behavior of wood with small/wide-angle X-ray/neutron scattering and atomistic simulations, recent attempts to combine these two approaches, and perspectives and open questions for future research using this powerful combination. Finally, we discuss the opportunities of the combined method in relation to applications of lignocellulosic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117064
JournalCarbohydrate Polymers
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Atomistic simulation
  • Moisture behavior
  • Neutron scattering
  • Wood nanostructure
  • X-ray scattering

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  • Projects

    Understanding the moisture behaviour of wood in nanoscale

    Penttilä, P.


    Project: Academy of Finland: Other research funding

    CERES: Competence Center for the materials Bioeconomy: A Flagship for our Sustainable Future

    Mäkelä, K.


    Project: Academy of Finland: Other research funding

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