Chemical incompatibility and relatively weak interaction between lignocellulosic fibers and synthetic polymers have made studies of wood fiber-thermoplastic composite more challenging. In this study, adsorption of 2-hydroxypropyltrimethylammonium xylans onto rod-like cellulose nanocrystals are investigated by zeta-potential measurements, and polarized and depolarized dynamic light scattering as a factor for better understanding of lignocellulosic fibers and cellulose nanocrystals. Zeta-potential measurements show xylan derivative adsorption onto cellulose nanocrystals. Decay time distributions of the ternary system and binary system from dynamic light scattering show that aggregates exist in the binary system and they disappear in the ternary system. At low 2-hydroxypropyltrimethylammonium xylan concentrations relative to that of cellulose nanocrystal, xylan derivatives adsorbed onto some of the cellulose nanocrystal. Hence, more xylan derivatives adsorbed onto cellulose nanocrystal increased with increasing xylan derivative concentration. Also, the concentration dependence of the ratio of the rotational diffusion coefficient to the translational diffusion coefficient revealed a strong adsorptive interaction between xylan derivatives and the cellulose nanocrystals.
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