Effect of nanocrystalline cellulose and zinc oxide hybrid organic–inorganic nanofiller on the physical properties of polycaprolactone nanocomposite films

  • Magdi E. GibrilEmail author
  • KumKum Ahmed
  • Prabashni Lekha
  • Bruce Sithole
  • Ajit KhoslaEmail author
  • Hidemitsu FurukawaEmail author
Technical Paper


New biobased polycaprolactone (PCL) nanocomposite materials were prepared using cellulose-zinc oxide (NCC-ZnO) as an organic–inorganic nanofiller which was prepared by loading zinc oxide (ZnO) onto the surface of nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC). Various loadings (2–8 wt%) of nanofiller were added onto the PCL matrix to prepare PCL/NCC-ZnO nanocomposite films using the solvent cast method. The nanofiller and nanocomposite films were characterised by AFM, TEM, FTIR, FE-SEM, XRD, DSC, TGA and tensile strength. The results of AFM, TEM and FTIR analysis confirmed the interaction between NCC and ZnO nanoparticles and between nanofiller (NCC-ZnO) and PCL. The mechanical properties of the PCL polymer significantly improved due to incorporation of the nanofiller, especially, when increasing the amount of nanofiller beyond 4 wt%. FE-SEM analysis showed homogenous dispersion of nanofiller within the PCL matrix, and illustrated a rough porous surface. Both TGA and DSC results indicated that the thermal stability of PCL increased due to the incorporation of nanofillers.



The authors are grateful to Matsumae International Foundation (MIF)-Japan for financial support and to Tatsuro Okita and Professor Matsuba from Yamagata University for their precious help. This work was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP17H01224, JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP18H05471, JST COI Grant Number JPMJCE1314, JST -OPERA Program Grant Number JPMJOP1844, JST -OPERA Program Grant Number JPMJOP1614, and the Cabinet Office (CAO), Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP), “An intelligent knowledge processing infrastructure, integrating physical and virtual domains” (funding agency: NEDO).


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical System Engineering, Graduate School of Science and EngineeringYamagata UniversityYonezawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Applied ChemistryShibaura Institute of TechnologyKoto CityJapan
  3. 3.Discipline of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  4. 4.CSIR/KZN, Biorefinery Industry Development Facility CentreDurbanSouth Africa
  5. 5.State Key Laboratory of Bio-Based Material and Green Papermaking (BMGP)Qilu University of TechnologyJinanChina

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