Multilayer Density Analysis of Cellulose Thin Films

Carina Sampl, Katrin Niegelhell, David Reishofer, Roland Resel, Stefan Spirk, Ulrich Hirn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An approach for the multilayer density analysis of polysaccharide thin films at the example of cellulose is presented. In detail, a model was developed for the evaluation of the density in different layers across the thickness direction of the film. The cellulose thin film was split into a so called "roughness layer" present at the surface and a "bulk layer" attached to the substrate surface. For this approach, a combination of multi-parameter surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy (SPR) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) was employed to detect changes in the properties, such as cellulose content and density, thickness and refractive index, of the surface near layer and the bulk layer. The surface region of the films featured a much lower density than the bulk. Further, these results correlate to X-ray reflectivity studies, indicating a similar layered structure with reduced density at the surface near regions. The proposed method provides an approach to analyse density variations in thin films which can be used to study material properties and swelling behavior in different layers of the films. Limitations and challenges of the multilayer model evaluation method of cellulose thin films were discussed. This particularly involves the selection of the starting values for iteration of the layer thickness of the top layer, which was overcome by incorporation of AFM data in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Article number251
Pages (from-to)251
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2019


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Cellulose thin film
  • Multilayer analysis
  • Surface plasmon resonance
  • X-ray reflectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Advanced Materials Science


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