Native cellulose nanofibers are functionalized using luminescent metal nanoclusters to form a novel type of functional nanocellulose/nanocluster composite. Previously, various types of cellulose fibers have been functionalized with large, non-luminescent metal nanoparticles. Here, mechanically strong native cellulose nanofibers, also called nanofibrillatedcellulose (NFC), microfibrillatedcellulose (MFC) ornanocellulose, disintegrated from macroscopic cellulose pulp fibers are used as support for small and fluorescent silver nanoclusters. The functionalization occurs in a supramolecular manner, mediated by poly(methacrylic acid) that protects nanoclusters while it allows hydrogen bonding with cellulose, leading to composites with fluorescence and antibacterial activity.
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