Basswood was cut along the growth direction at various dimensions (typical thickness, <5 mm; length/width, <10 cm). NaOH and Na2SO3 were dissolved in deionized water at concentrations of 2.5 and 0.4 M, respectively. The wood slices were boiled in the solution for 10 hours. Then, the wood slices were immersed in boiling H2O2 solution (30%) until completely white. The resulting wood membrane was then rinsed in deionized water to remove the residual ions and chemicals. The effective removal of residual chemicals was verified by obtaining a low ionic conductivity of the solution (<20 μS cm−1) that had been used to wash the sample. To make the undensified membrane, the sample was subsequently treated by freeze drying. To make a densified membrane, the sample was dried in air under ambient temperature while being pressed for 5 hours. For typical TEMPO oxidation, the cellulose membrane (1 g) was soaked in 100 ml of water containing 0.016 g of TEMPO and 0.1 g of NaBr, with the pH value being adjusted to 10 by adding 0.5 M NaOH solution. Approximately 5 mmol NaClO was added to the solution to initiate the oxidation reaction. The pH value of the solution was closely monitored using a pH meter and was maintained at 10 by continuously adding 0.5 M NaOH. The reaction was terminated after 2.5 hours by adding 0.5 M HCl to lower the pH to 7. The membrane was then taken out of the solution and washed with 0.5 M HCl. Last, the cellulose membrane was solvent exchanged to acetone and then toluene and allowed to sit in air to evaporate all solvent.

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