Journal: Carbohydrate Polymers (2021)

Authors: Matthew D. Eaton,  Daniel Domene-López,  Qifeng Wang, Mercedes G. Montalbán,  Ignacio Martin-Gullon, Kenneth R. Shull.


The quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) is used as a non-destructive and efficient characterization tool for thin thermoplastic starch (TPS) films. Thin TPS films (1-2 μm) were prepared with 30% (w/w starch) plasticizers using either glycerol or an ionic liquid, 1-ethyl-3-methylimidiazolium acetate ([emim+][Ac−]), as the plasticizer. The differences in the mechanical properties and environmental effects on the plasticized TPS films were explored. The modulus of starch-glycerol films was higher than starch-[emim+][Ac−], consistent with literature data and bulk AFM measurements, likely due to superior plasticization by the ionic liquid. The starch-[emim+][Ac−] films were shown to have relative stable properties at low humidity that may be due to some antiplasticization effects at low water content despite absorbing more water than starch-glycerol films at higher humidity.