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Morphological and Spectroscopic Studies of Chitin Nanowhiskers

  • Violeta Campos-Cornelio (a1), Nelly Flores-Ramírez (a2), Salomón R. Vasquez-García (a3), Lada Domratcheva-Lvova (a2) and Leandro García-González (a4)...

Abstract

Chitin nanowhiskers were obtained with the purpose to be used as astaxanthin protectors against the photo and thermal degradation. These nanostructures were generated by a freezing/thawing procedure using two stirring methods: mechanical and sonication, which were named as FTM and FTS respectively. Morphological and spectroscopic studies were carried out on chitin nanowhiskers by scanning electronic microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Through a SEM analysis, chitin fibers were found uniformly spaced and oriented with the width ranged from of 20-40 nm. Furthermore, the nanowhiskers obtained by FTM showed long and flattened structures and bundles of homogeneous sizes, which have the capacity of being sites of stress concentration. In contrast, by FTS, the nanowhiskers showed coarse fibers exhibiting numerous peaks. By comparing the two methods is appreciated that FTS method provides more surface area, giving more sites for functionalization. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) allowed the determination of free movement of functional groups on the surface of samples obtained by FTM and FTS methods. Significant differences of signals in the spectra indicate that there were more unassociated amides in the nanowhiskers obtained by FTS than by FTM.

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