Nanoengineering Strong Silica Aerogels
In the quest for strong lightweight materials, silica aerogels would be very attractive, if they were not fragile. The strength of silica aerogel monoliths has been improved by a factor of over 100 through cross-linking the nanoparticle building blocks of preformed silica hydrogels with poly(hexamethylene diisocyanate). Composite monoliths are much less hygroscopic than native silica, and they do not collapse when in contact with liquids.
N. Leventis et al., "Nanoengineering Strong Silica Aerogels," Nano Letters, vol. 2, no. 9, pp. 957-960, American Chemical Society (ACS), Aug 2002.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/nl025690e
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© 2002 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.