In this paper we are presenting the results of our environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) investigation of the lignin model compound - enzymatically polymerized coniferyl alcohol, also known as dehydrogenate polymer (DHP). The goals of this study were to visualize the supramolecular organization of DHP polymer on various substrates, namely graphite, mica, and glass, and to explore the influence of substrate surface properties and associated collective phenomena on the lignin self-assembled supramolecular structure. Based on results obtained with ESEM, combined with previously published results based on scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and electron spin resonance (ESR) technique, we looked at lignin structure ranging from a monomer on a fraction of nanometer scale to a large aggregate on a fraction of millimeter scale, therefore using six orders of magnitude range of size. Herein, we are presenting evidence that there are at least four different levels of the supramolecular structure of lignin, and that its supramolecular organization is well dependent on the substrate surface characteristics, such as hydrophobicity, delocalized orbitals, and surface-free energy.
- Dehydrogenate polymer
- Environmental scanning electron microscopy
- Supramolecular structures
ASJC Scopus subject areas