Tailoring Advanced Nanoscale Materials Through Synthesis of Composite Aerogel Architectures
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC SURFACE CHEMISTRY BRANCH
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Introducing a desired solid guest to an about-to-gel silica sol prevents complete encapsulation of the guest particles by the silica, such that the composite retains the bulk and surface properties of each component on the nanoscale. The transport- and density-dependent properties of the composite aerogel can be tuned by varying the volume fraction of the second solid, thereby increasing the design flexibility of these nanoscale materials for optical, chemical, thermal, magnetic, and electronic applications. The chemical and physical properties of the composite material can be further engineered at multiple points during sol gel processing by modifying the host solid, the guest solid, the composite gel, or the composite aerogel.
- Physical Chemistry