Impact of hemicelluloses and crystal size on X-ray scattering from atomistic models of cellulose microfibrils

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Cellulose, Volume 30, issue 13
X-ray scattering methods allow efficient characterization of cellulosic materials, but interpreting their results is challenging. By creating molecular dynamics models of cellulose microfibrils and calculating the scattering from them, we investigated how different properties of the structures affect their scattering intensities. We studied the effects of hemicelluloses and crystal size on small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS, WAXS). Microfibril models with and without surface-bound hemicelluloses were built based on the chemical composition of spruce secondary cell walls. The effect of fibril size was investigated by comparing the scattering from fibrils with 14 to 40 cellulose chains. The hemicelluloses appeared in the SAXS region as an increase in the fibril radius and as a clear contribution of a shell around the fibril. The hemicelluloses also increased the crystal size as determined from the broadening of the 200 diffraction peak of cellulose Iβ. The SAXS and WAXS analysis provided consistent estimates for the size of the microfibrils, and their special features and challenges were discussed. In particular, the results of 18-chain microfibrils were consistent with prior experimental results. Carrying out the simulations in wet and dry environments had the most pronounced effect on fibrils with a hemicellulose coating. Twisting of the fibril had very little impact on most properties, except for a minor effect on the WAXS peaks. The results allow for more correct interpretation of experimental scattering results, leading to more accurate descriptions of microfibril structures in natural and processed cellulosic materials.
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Zitting, A, Paajanen, A & Penttilä, P A 2023, ' Impact of hemicelluloses and crystal size on X-ray scattering from atomistic models of cellulose microfibrils ', Cellulose, vol. 30, no. 13, pp. 8107-8126 .