Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems

Materials Chemistry of Cellulose

The distinct emphasis of the group led by Prof. Eero Kontturi is set on interfacial phenomena: one of the main lines of research involves observing and manipulating cellulosic materials in confined 2D space by using a surface science approach. Basically, this means performing research on cellulose-based entities on a very flat surface. The impetus for such research is provided by the vast diversity of functional materials that can be manufactured from 2D constructions, such as sensors and optoelectronic devices.

Research themes:

1. Plant cell wall polymers in 2D

Focus is on building morphologically distinct 2-dimensional structures from well-defined cell wall components, such as cellulose nanocrystals or amorphous polysaccharides. The structures can be positioned on a flat, smooth surface to provide means for observing fundamental interactions between plant cell components when confined in 2D space. The results can also be applied to utilizing interfacial phenomena in more realistic materials like plant-based fibres where, for example, adsorbing elements are used to perform certain tasks on the fibre surface.

2. Cellulose-inorganic hybrids: new family of thin films for energy materials

This effort centres around building thin films from cellulose-based and inorganic materials. Electrical and thermal conductivity as well as optical properties of the films are under particular scrutiny and the application targets are therefore set in energy materials, such as thermoelectric devices. Our group’s wide-ranging knowledge on manufacturing various kinds of cellulose and cellulose derivative films are utilized in tuning the desired film properties. This is a consortium with VTT High Performance Fibre Products and an integral collaboration with Inorganic Chemistry group at Aalto.

3. Towards realistic, green, and low-cost production of cellulose nanocrystals

This project aims <strong>at overcoming or circumventing the bottlenecks in cellulose nanocrystal production. Instead of the conventional liquid acid / solid fibre system, a gas/solid system is applied in a custom-built reactor. Various ways of dispersing the nanocrystals from a hydrolyzed fibre matrix are at the centre of this effort. The concept report on the industrial feasibility of the gaseous HCl hydrolysis method can be found here.


Meet the team:


Professor Eero Kontturi, Head of the research team


Materials Chemistry of Cellulose
Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Technology
Aalto University,  Espoo, Finland

[email protected]




Group members' biographies: PostDocs

Group members' biographies: PhD students

Related content:

Funding for partnership networks in research, development and innovation

The Academy of Finland funding to Aalto University supports the development of nanocellulose-based scaffolds as well as the knowledge base and operating methods of the circular economy.

Vaaleanpunertavia ja läpikuultavia nanoselluloosa- ja agaroosikiteitä laboratoriomaljassa. Kuva Valeria Azovskaya

Eero Kontturi: The most important skill for a researcher is the desire to read and write

Professor of Materials Chemistry of Cellulose relaxes by reading scientific articles and makes no distinction between work and free time.

Eero Kontturi. Kuva: Lasse Lecklin / Aalto-yliopisto

Eero Kontturi appointed Associate Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering

Professor Kontturi’s field of research is Materials Chemistry of Cellulose.

Eero Kontturi. Kuva: Lasse Lecklin / Aalto-yliopisto

Awards and honours for professors of the School of Chemical Engineering

Prof. Orlando Rojas, Prof. Patrick Gane and Prof. Eero Kontturi of the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems, have been acknowledged for their significant work.

Latest publications:

Biowaste-derived electrode and electrolyte materials for flexible supercapacitors

Yazan Al Haj, Seyedabolfazl Mousavihashemi, Daria Robertson, Maryam Borghei, Timo Pääkkönen, Orlando J. Rojas, Eero Kontturi, Tanja Kallio, Jaana Vapaavuori 2022 Chemical Engineering Journal

The Impact of Surface Charges of Carboxylated Cellulose Nanofibrils on the Water Motions in Hydrated Films

Valentina Guccini, Shun Yu, Zhoujun Meng, Eero Kontturi, Franz Demmel, Germán Salazar-Alvarez 2022 Biomacromolecules

Tuning the Porosity, Water Interaction, and Redispersion of Nanocellulose Hydrogels by Osmotic Dehydration

Valentina Guccini, Josphat Phiri, Jon Trifol, Ville Rissanen, Seyede Maryam Mousavi, Jaana Vapaavuori, Tekla Tammelin, Thaddeus Maloney, Eero Kontturi 2022 ACS Applied Polymer Materials

Electrolyte-Controlled Permeability in Nanocellulose-Stabilized Emulsions

Katja Heise, Christopher Jonkergouw, Eduardo Anaya-Plaza, Valentina Guccini, Timo Pääkkönen, Markus B. Linder, Eero Kontturi, Mauri A. Kostiainen 2022 Advanced Materials Interfaces

Effect of Moisture on Polymer Deconstruction in HCl Gas Hydrolysis of Wood

Tainise Lourençon, Michael Altgen, Timo Pääkkönen, Valentina Guccini, Paavo Penttilä, Eero Kontturi, Lauri Rautkari 2022 ACS Omega

Room Temperature Fabrication of Macroporous Lignin Membranes for the Scalable Production of Black Silicon

Nadezda Prochukhan, Stephen A. O'Brien, Arantxa Davó-Quiñonero, Anna Trubetskaya, Eoin Cotter, Andrew Selkirk, Ramsankar Senthamaraikannan, Manuel Ruether, David McCloskey, Michael A. Morris 2022 Biomacromolecules

Humidity Response of Cellulose Thin Films

David Reishofer, Roland Resel, Jürgen Sattelkow, Wolfgang J. Fischer, Katrin Niegelhell, Tamilselvan Mohan, Karin Stana Kleinschek, Heinz Amenitsch, Harald Plank, Tekla Tammelin, Eero Kontturi, Stefan Spirk 2022 Biomacromolecules

Cellulose-inorganic hybrids of strongly reduced thermal conductivity

Panagiotis Spiliopoulos, Marie Gestranius, Chao Zhang, Ramin Ghiyasi, John Tomko, Kai Arstila, Matti Putkonen, Patrick E. Hopkins, Maarit Karppinen, Tekla Tammelin, Eero Kontturi 2022 Cellulose

Assessing Fire-Damage in Historical Papers and Alleviating Damage with Soft Cellulose Nanofibers

Laura Völkel, Marco Beaumont, Leena-Sisko Johansson, Caterina Czibula, Dmitrii Rusakov, Andreas Mautner, Christian Teichert, Eero Kontturi, Thomas Rosenau, Antje Potthast 2022 Small

Manufacturing heat-damaged papers as model materials for evaluating conservation methods

Laura Völkel, Dmitrii Rusakov, Eero Kontturi, Marco Beaumont, Thomas Rosenau, Antje Potthast 2022 Cellulose
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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