Mechanically Strong Acrylonitrile-based Aerogels Via Free Radical Polymerization and their Conversion to Porous Carbons
We became interested in polyacrylonitrile (PAN) aerogels by considering together the fact that PAN is the major industrial source of carbon fiber, and the practical applications of porous carbons. Although free-radical solution polymerization of acrylonitrile may afford gels, those linear-polymer gels collapse upon drying and they cannot be converted to aerogels. Using 1,6-hexanediol diacrylate (HDDA) or ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as crosslinkers induces early phase-separation of “live” particles that react with one another forming the robust 3D network of mechanically strong aerogels. SEM shows, and N2 sorption confirms that acrylic aerogels are mainly macroporous materials, and therefore they can be dried under ambient pressure. Pyrolysis of acrylic aerogels under Ar yields porous carbon aerogels with electrical conductivities in the range of 0.6-3.5 mho cm-1. The higher conductivities of samples made with EGDMA was attributed to their higher surface areas (180-200 m2 g-1) compared to those made with HDDA (40-60 m2 g-1).
A. G. Sadekar et al., "Mechanically Strong Acrylonitrile-based Aerogels Via Free Radical Polymerization and their Conversion to Porous Carbons," Abstracts of Papers of the American Chemical Society, American Chemical Society (ACS), Mar 2011.
241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition (2011: Mar. 27-31, Anaheim, CA)
Article - Conference proceedings
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