The cyanoethylation of cotton fabric was carried out using aqueous sodium hydroxide with acrylonitrile in presence of solvents like acetone and ethanol in different concentrations. The modified cellulose was investigated with vertical wicking test, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetry-differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA), and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The wicking height was increased for the modified cellulose. Modified cellulose had increase in crystallinity index with reduction of crystallite size. The thermal stability of the modified cellulose was also increased. The images produced using AFM technique revealed that there is appreciable difference in the surface roughness between scoured, mercerized, cyanoethylated and solvent treated samples. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011
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