Nano mechanical characterisation of functionalised cellulose fibres and fibre-fibre bonds

Kontakt: Catarina Ribeiro


As part of the project single cellulose fibres, fibre-fibre bonds and paper fleeces are functionalised with polymers. For a better understanding of the connection between fibre properties on micro- or nanometre scale and the functional properties of paper, the atomic force microscope and nano mechanical bending tests are used for investigation. Therefore, the spatial distribution of the polymer on paper fleeces/fibres, the nano mechanics of polymer coated cellulose fibres in dependency of temperature and humidity and the strength of the inter fibre bonds of functionalised fibres are of interest. The gained knowledge is compared with fluorescence microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy to obtain a nano mechanical as well as a chemical image of the surface.


The different fields of applications of paper such as electronics, sensor technology, micro fluidic or medicine are promising. Paper is consisting of cellulose, the most abundant bio molecule. It is a natural occuring material, mostly located in cell walls of plants and is recyclable. Thus, cellulose is the most important material in the paper production. Furthermore, paper gains more and more meaning in the fast analysis in chip size. The previous existing micro fluidic systems consist of silicon, glas or plastic. By the easy handling and the cost-efficient production of paper, it could be applied as carrier medium in “lab-on-a-chip” products. Paper could be coated with hydrophobic polymers in such a manner that small channels are built. By the capillary attraction only, the fluid could be guided without external pumps.


PAK 962/1 – FiPRe: Functional Paper Research

Webpage of FiPRe


  • Auernhammer, J., Stark, RW. (2021):
    Mechanical characterisation of single cellulosic fibres.

    Paper Technology International Journal, December 2021 release
    [Book Article]
  • Lin, B., Auernhammer, J., Schäfer, JL., Stark, RW., Meckel, T., Biesalski, M., Xu, BX. (2021):
    Humidity Influence on Mechanics and Failure of Paper Materials: Joint Numerical and Experimental Study on Fiber and Fiber Network Scale

    Cellulose 2021, arXiv identifiert: submit/3516584
    DOI: 10.1007/s10570-021-04355-y
  • J Auernhammer ,M Langhans, M Schulze, JL Schäfer, T Keil, T Meckel, M Biesalski, RW Stark (2021):
    Nanomechanical subsurface characterisation of cellulosic fibres
    arXiv identifier 2105.04160
    DOI: arxiv/abs/2105.04160
  • J Auernhammer, T Keil, B Lin, JS Schäfer, B Xu, M Biesalski, RW Stark (2021):
    Mapping Humidity-dependent Mechanical Properties of a Single Cellulose Fibre
    Cellulose 2021. arXiv identifier: 2012.10207
    DOI: 10.1007/s10570-021-04058-4
  • J Auernhammer , AK Bell, M Schulze, Y Du, L Stühn, S Wendenburg, I Pause, M Biesalski, W Ensinger, RW Stark (2021):
    Nanomechanical characterisation of a water-repelling terpolymer coating of cellulosic fibres
    Cellulose 2021
    DOI: 10.1007/s10570-020-03675-9
Fluorescence image of a fibre-fibre crossing. Cellulose is displayed in blue and the polymer coating in purple.
Fluorescence image of a fibre-fibre crossing. Cellulose is displayed in blue and the polymer coating in purple.