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Bioinspired Synthesis of Monolithic and Layered Aerogels

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Xiao Han, Khalil Hassan, Dr Adrian OilaORCiD, Professor Lidija Siller



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Aerogels are the least dense and most porous materials known to man, with potential applications from lightweight super-insulators to smart energy materials. To date their use has been seriously hampered by synthesis methods which are laborious and expensive. Taking inspiration from the life-cycle of the damselfly, we demonstrate a novel ambient pressure drying approach in which, instead of employing low surface tension organic solvents to prevent pore collapse during drying, sodium bicarbonate solution is used to generate pore-supporting carbon dioxide in-situ, significantly reducing energy, time and cost in aerogel production. The generic applicability of this readily scalable new approach is demonstrated through the production of granules, monoliths and layered solids with a number of precursor materials.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Han X, Hassan KT, Harvey A, Kulijer D, Oila A, Hunt MRC, Siller L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Advanced Materials

Year: 2018

Volume: 30

Issue: 23

Print publication date: 06/06/2018

Online publication date: 25/04/2018

Acceptance date: 08/03/2018

Date deposited: 19/03/2018

ISSN (print): 0935-9648

ISSN (electronic): 1521-4095

Publisher: Wiley - VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA


DOI: 10.1002/adma.201706294


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