MSA  Vol.7 No.10 , October 2016
Observations of Wood Cell Walls with a Scanning Probe Microscope
Abstract: Scanning Probe Microscopes (SPMs) observe specimen surfaces with probes by detecting the physical amount of a material between the cantilever and the surface. SPMs have a high resolution and can measure mechanical characteristics such as stiffness, adsorptive properties, and viscoelasticity. These features make it easy to identify the surface structure of complex materials; therefore, the use of SPMs has increased in recent years. Wood cell walls are primarily composed of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. It is believed that hemicellulose and lignin surround the cellulose framework; however, their detailed formation remains unknown. Therefore, we observed wood cell walls via scanning probe microscopy to try to reveal the formation of the cellulose framework. We determined that the size of the cellulose microfibril bundle and hemicellulose lignin module composite was 18.48 nm based on topography and that the size of the cellulose microfibril bundle was 15.33 nm based on phase images. In the viscoelasticity image, we found that the viscoelasticities of each cell wall of the same cell were not the same. This is because the cellulose microfibrils in each cell wall lean in different directions. The angle between the leaning of the cellulose microfibril and the cantilever affects the viscoelasticity measurement.
Cite this paper: Yamashita, M. , Yoshida, M. , Matsuo, M. , Sato, S. and Yamamoto, H. (2016) Observations of Wood Cell Walls with a Scanning Probe Microscope. Materials Sciences and Applications, 7, 644-653. doi: 10.4236/msa.2016.710052.

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