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.
HCI based disintegration

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]



Materials Chemistry of Cellulose group photo

Group members' biographies: PostDocs

Group members' biographies: PhD students

Related content:

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

Latest publications:

Chemical Modification of Reducing End-Groups in Cellulose Nanocrystals

Katja Heise, Gwendoline Delepierre, Alistair W.T. King, Mauri A. Kostiainen, Justin Zoppe, Christoph Weder, Eero Kontturi 2021 Angewandte Chemie - International Edition

TEMPO-oxidized Cellulose Nanofibers as Versatile Additives for Highly Stable Silicon Anode in Lithium-ion Batteries

Jong Min Kim, Youngseul Cho, Valentina Guccini, Misun Hahn, Bingyi Yan, German Salazar-Alvarez, Yuanzhe Piao 2021 Electrochimica Acta

Film thickness limits of a buckling-based method to determine mechanical properties of polymer coatings

Elina Niinivaara, Johanna Desmaisons, Alain Dufresne, Julien Bras, Emily D. Cranston 2021 Journal of Colloid and Interface Science

Fibrillation and characterization of lignin-containing neutral sulphite (NS) pulps rich in hemicelluloses and anionic charge

Saara Hanhikoski, Iina Solala, Panu Lahtinen, Klaus Niemelä, Tapani Vuorinen 2020 Cellulose

Nanocellulose : Recent Fundamental Advances and Emerging Biological and Biomimicking Applications

Katja Heise, Eero Kontturi, Yagut Allahverdiyeva, Tekla Tammelin, Markus B. Linder, Olli Ikkala 2020 Advanced Materials

Mushroom-derived chitosan-glucan nanopaper filters for the treatment of water

Jan Janesch, Mitchell Jones, Markus Bacher, Eero Kontturi, Alexander Bismarck, Andreas Mautner 2020 REACTIVE AND FUNCTIONAL POLYMERS

Structural Order in Cellulose Thin Films Prepared from a Trimethylsilyl Precursor

Andrew O.F. Jones, Roland Resel, Benedikt Schrode, Eduardo Machado-Charry, Christian Röthel, Birgit Kunert, Ingo Salzmann, Eero Kontturi, David Reishofer, Stefan Spirk 2020 Biomacromolecules

Feasibility of Chemically Modified Cellulose Nanofiber Membranes as Lithium-Ion Battery Separators

Hyeyun Kim, Ulriika Mattinen, Valentina Guccini, Haidong Liu, Germán Salazar-Alvarez, Rakel Wreland Lindström, Göran Lindbergh, Ann Cornell 2020 ACS applied materials & interfaces

Dual modified nanosilica particles as reinforcing fillers for dental adhesives : Synthesis, characterization, and properties

Azin Mazloom-Jalali, Faramarz Afshar Taromi, Mohammad Atai, Laleh Solhi 2020 Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials

Nanomaterials Derived from Fungal Sources-Is It the New Hype?

Wan M.F.B.W. Nawawi, Mitchell Jones, Richard J. Murphy, Koon Yang Lee, Eero Kontturi, Alexander Bismarck 2020 Biomacromolecules
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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