Study of the lignin model compound supramolecular structure by combination of near-field scanning optical microscopy and atomic force microscopy

Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces. 2004 Mar 1;34(1):33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2003.10.018.


In this paper, we present a nanoscale study of the supramolecular structure of the dehydrogenate polymer (ZL-DHP) lignin model compound. The combination of near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM or SNOM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) has been utilized to explore physicochemical properties of the lignin model compound on a scale ranging from individual macromolecules to globular supramolecular assemblies. By utilizing NSOM in transmission mode, the optical inhomogeneity in the lignin supramolecular structure has been observed for the first time. In particular, the transmission-mode NSOM images reveal a combination of hollow and layered supramolecular globular structure in the lignin model compound. Through the paired use of TappingMode and pulsed-mode AFM, we have also confirmed the existence of regions with different rheological properties on the single lignin model compound supramolecular assembly.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohols / chemistry
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Wall / metabolism*
  • Lignin / chemistry*
  • Microscopy
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force / methods*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Nanotechnology
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Polymers / chemistry
  • Temperature
  • Time Factors


  • Alcohols
  • Polymers
  • Lignin