McGill University Department of Chemistry Analytical/Environmental Chemical Biology Chemical Physics Materials Chemistry Synthesis/Catalysis  
Synthesis/Catalysis Profs.
Arndtsen, Bruce
Auclair, Karine
Bohle, Scott
Butler, Ian
Chan, Tak-Hang
Cosa, Gonzalo
Damha, Masad
Eisenberg, Adi
Farrell, Patrick
Friščić, Tomislav
Gleason, James
Gray, Derek
Guindon, Yvan
Harpp, David
Hay, Allan
Kakkar, Ashok
Lennox, Bruce
Li, C.J.
Lumb, Jean-Philip
Marchessault, Robert
Moitessier, Nicolas
Moores, Audrey
Perepichka, Dima
Shaver, Alan
Sleiman, Hanadi
Tsantrizos, Youla
van de Ven, Theo
Derek G. Gray
Derek G. Gray

Professor Emeritus

B.Sc. (Queen's University, N. Ireland, 1963)
Ph.D. (University of Manitoba, 1968)
NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow (U. Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1969, University of Toronto, 1970-71)
ACS Anselme Payen Award for Cellulose Chemistry, 1994
NSERC Synergy Award (McGill/FPInnovations/CelluForce), 2013
Marcus Wallenberg Prize, for research relevant to the forest industries, Stockholm 2013
Lifetime Achievement award of the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada, 2013
Canadian Society for Chemistry, 2014 Macromolecular Science & Engineering Award

Office: Pulp & Paper 107
Phone: (514)398-6182
Web Page:


Lab: Pulp & Paper 006
Lab Phone: n/a

Research Themes:

Research Description:
We are interested in relating the chiral molecular structure of polysaccharides to the chiral morphology and properties of wood, wood fibres, paper and related materials.

The preparation and properties of cellulose nanocrystals feature prominently in our research efforts. We found that cellulose nanocrystals form ordered colloidal suspensions (colloid crystals) with very unusual properties, yet are prepared from simple ingredients; treating ordinary filter paper with sulphuric acid under carefully controlled conditions gives stable dilute aqueous dispersions with optical properties identical to conventional cholesteric liquid crystals. We also discovered that the liquid crystalline structure of the suspensions can be preserved on drying, giving iridescent films of cellulose. There is commercial interest in using these films as optically variable pigments, showing different colours depending on the angle of viewing. The cellulose nanocrystals may also provide reinforcement to a range of composite materials.

In addition to work on the preparation, modification, properties and potential applications of cellulose nanocrystals, we are interested in the interaction of other nanoparticles with cellulosic materials. Fluorescent dyes and semiconductor nanoparticles may provide anti-counterfeiting components for packaging, and we are working on the use of silver nanoparticles in paper as an emergency water purification method.

801 Sherbrooke St. W. Montréal, Québec H3A 2K6 tel: 514-398-6999 fax: 514-398-3797   
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