Mechanical Properties of cellulose fibers measured by Brillouin spectroscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


  • Kareem Elsayad
  • Georg Urstoeger
  • Jaromir Gumulec
  • Jan Balvan
  • Michael Pohlt
  • Ulrich Hirn

Organisational units

External Organisational units

  • Advanced Microscopy, Vienna Biocenter Core Facilities,Vienna Biocenter, Dr. Bohr-Gasse 3, Vienna 1030,Austria
  • Institute of Bioproducts and Paper Technology, GrazUniversity of Technology, Graz, Austria
  • Christian Doppler Laboratory for Fiber Swelling andPaper Performance, Vienna, Austria
  • Department of Pathophysiology, Masarykova Univerzita,Brno, Czech Republic
  • Canon Production Printing, Poing, Germany View author publications


We investigate the potential of Brillouin Light Scattering (BLS) Microspectroscopy for fast non-invasive all-optical assessment of the mechanical properties of viscose fibers and bleached softwood pulp. Using an optimized Brillouin spectrometer, we demonstrate fast spatial mapping of the complex longitudinal modulus over extended areas (> 100 µm). Our results reveal that while the softwood pulp has a relatively uniform moduli, the viscous fibers have significant spatial heterogeneous in the moduli. Specifically, the viscose fibers exhibited a regular pattern of increasing and decreasing modulus normal to the fiber axis. The potential influence of a locally changing refractive index is investigated by holographic phase microscopy and ruled out. We discuss our results in light of the anisotropic mechanical properties of the fibers and are able to estimate the relative difference between the modulus along the fiber axis and that perpendicular to it. Results are presented alongside reference measurements of the quasi-static mechanical properties transverse to the fiber axes obtained using AFM-nanoindentation which reveal a similar trend, hinting at the potential usefulness of BLS for mechanical characterization applications. However, more detailed investigations are called for to uncover all the factors influencing the measured high-frequency BLS modulus and its significance in relation to physical properties of the fiber that may be of practical interest.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4209-4220
Number of pages12
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - May 2020