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Recent advances in functional materials through cellulose nanofiber templating...

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Advanced Materials
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Advanced templating techniques have enabled delicate control of both nano‐ and microscale structures and have helped thrust functional materials into the forefront of society. Cellulose nanomaterials are derived from natural polymers and show promise as a templating source for advanced materials. Use of cellulose nanomaterials in templating combines nanoscale property control with sustainability, an attribute often lacking in other templating techniques. Use of cellulose nanofibers for templating has shown great promise in recent years, but previous reviews on cellulose nanomaterial templating techniques have not provided extensive analysis of cellulose nanofiber templating. Cellulose nanofibers display several unique properties, including mechanical strength, porosity, high water retention, high surface functionality, and an entangled fibrous network, all of which can dictate distinctive aspects in the final templated materials. Many applications exploit the unique aspects of templating with cellulose nanofibers that help control the final properties of the material, including, but not limited to, applications in catalysis, batteries, supercapacitors, electrodes, building materials, biomaterials, and membranes. A detailed analysis on the use of cellulose nanofibers templating is provided, addressing specifically how careful selection of templating mechanisms and methodologies, combined toward goal applications, can be used to directly benefit chosen applications in advanced functional materials.