The assignment of IR absorption bands due to free hydroxyl groups in cellulose

Tetsuo Kondo

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252 Citations (Scopus)


Interpretation of the IR hydroxyl absorption bands in cellulose has been limited to the inter- and intramolecularly hydrogen-bonded hydroxyl groups in the crystalline form. This paper attempts to assign IR frequencies due to 'free' or non-hydrogen bonded hydroxyl groups by using a curve fitting method. The almost completely methylated cellulose derivatives of tritylcellulose (previously used in related studies) exhibited small IR bands due to hydroxyl groups. The IR bands were assumed to appear under stereohindered conditions and thus resulted in a mixture of bands which included the contribution of free hydroxyl groups. The curve fitting method deconvoluted the IR bands into three bands in the OH stretching region: they were interpreted in terms of free or hydrogen bonded hydroxyl groups. The assignments were confirmed by comparison of an almost completely methylated derivative with partially methylated derivatives having different degrees of substitution. In addition, intramolecular hydrogen bonds involving OH at the C-3, C-2 and C-6 positions were shown to be easily formed, even between extremely small numbers of unsubstituted hydroxyl groups present, and thus cause perturbation of the specific deconvoluted band.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-292
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Polymers and Plastics


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