Buy article online - an online subscription or single-article purchase is required to access this article.
Download citation
Download citation
link to html
Many strong biological materials exist in the form of fibres that are partially crystalline but contain a substantial proportion of disordered domains, which contribute to the mechanical performance but result in broadening of the reflections in the diffraction patterns of such materials and make structure determination difficult. Where multiple forms of disorder are simultaneously present, many of the accepted ways of modelling the influence of disorder on a fibre diffraction pattern are inapplicable. Lateral disorder in cellulose fibrils of flax fibres was characterized by a multi-step approach. First, a scattering component derived from domains less uniformly oriented than the rest was isolated. A second scattering component giving rise to asymmetry in the radial profiles of the equatorial reflections was then quantified and subtracted. This component was associated with domains that could be related to the crystalline cellulose lattice, but with more variable and, on average, wider equatorial d spacings. A further partially oriented component with highly disordered lateral d spacings unrelated to any of the cellulose lattice dimensions was identified. This component may be derived from non-cellulosic polysaccharides. The remaining broadening was then separated into a contribution from disorder within the crystalline lattice, including known disorder in hydrogen bonding, and a Scherrer contribution from the microfibril diameter. The methods described are likely to find applications in the study of both natural and synthetic polymer fibres in which mechanical properties are influenced by disorder.

Supporting information


Portable Document Format (PDF) file
Supplementary material

Subscribe to Journal of Applied Crystallography

The full text of this article is available to subscribers to the journal.

If you have already registered and are using a computer listed in your registration details, please email for assistance.

Buy online

You may purchase this article in PDF and/or HTML formats. For purchasers in the European Community who do not have a VAT number, VAT will be added at the local rate. Payments to the IUCr are handled by WorldPay, who will accept payment by credit card in several currencies. To purchase the article, please complete the form below (fields marked * are required), and then click on `Continue'.
E-mail address* 
Repeat e-mail address* 
(for error checking) 

Format*   PDF (US $40)
   HTML (US $40)
   PDF+HTML (US $50)
In order for VAT to be shown for your country javascript needs to be enabled.

VAT number 
(non-UK EC countries only) 

Terms and conditions of use
Contact us

Follow J. Appl. Cryst.
Sign up for e-alerts
Follow J. Appl. Cryst. on Twitter
Follow us on facebook
Sign up for RSS feeds