Cross-linked and surface-modified cellulose acetate as a cover layer for paper-based electrochromic devices

Joice Jaqueline Kaschuk, Maryam Borghei, Katariina Solin, Anurodh Tripathi, Alexey Khakalo, Fábio A. S. Leite, Aida Branco, Miriam C. Amores de Sousa, Elisabete Frollini, Orlando J. Rojas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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We studied the surface and microstructure of cellulose acetate (CA) films to tailor their barrier and mechanical properties for application in electrochromic devices (ECDs). Cross-linking of CA was carried out with pyromellitic dianhydride to enhance the properties relative to unmodified CA: solvent resistance (by 43% in acetone and 37% in DMSO), strength (by 91% for tensile at break), and barrier (by 65% to oxygen and 92% to water vapor). Surface modification via tetraethyl orthosilicate and octyltrichlorosilane endowed the films with hydrophobicity, stiffness, and further enhanced solvent resistance. A detailed comparison of structural, chemical, surface, and thermal properties was performed by using X-ray diffraction, dynamic mechanical analyses, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy. Coplanar ECDs were synthesized by incorporating a hydrogel electrolyte comprising TEMPO-oxidized cellulose nanofibrils and an ionic liquid. When applied as the top layer in the ECDs, cross-linked and hydrophobized CA films extended the functionality of the assembled displays. The results indicate excellent prospects for CA films in achieving environmental-friendly ECDs that can replace poly(ethylene terephthalate)-based counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2393-2401
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Polymer Materials
Issue number5
Early online date16 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Barrier properties
  • Cellulose acetate
  • Cross-linking
  • Electrochromic displays
  • Hydrophobization


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