Isocyanate-Derived Aerogels And Nanostructure–Materials Properties Relationships


Isocyanates are a class of inexpensive yet versatile organic compounds that serve as the basis for a wide variety of familiar everyday products such as polyurethane foams, varnishes, sealants, etc. that can be found in virtually every home. Isocyanate-derived aerogels were first reported in the mid-1990s, followed by only a handful of further studies over the next 15 years. Isocyanate-derived aerogels have received renewed interest over the past decade, however, accompanied by a rapid growth in the number of scholarly works and patents. This expanding interest in isocyanate-derived aerogels can be attributed in part to the extremely broad array of nanostructures, morphologies, and functional properties that can be embodied by these materials and can be achieved even by a single chemical composition simply by tuning the synthetic parameters. The subject of isocyanate-derived aerogels now encompasses all categories of isocyanate-derivable polymers, including polyureas, polyisocyanurates, polyurethanes, polyimides, and polyamides. For these reasons, isocyanate-derived aerogels provide a fertile ground for fundamental studies of nanostructure-material property relationships. Additionally, numerous isocyanate-derived aerogels are carbonizable with high yields, making them compelling alternatives to resorcinol-formaldehyde aerogels. Several isocyanate-derived aerogels are in fact already in different stages of commercialization. This chapter places isocyanate-derived aerogels in the general historical context of aerogels and reviews the various types of these materials that have been produced to date through a nanostructure-material property perspective. Applications of polymeric isocyanate-derived aerogels and their carbonized derivatives that are reviewed include thermal and acoustic insulation, oil adsorption, shape-memory biomedical devices, catalysts and catalyst supports, water vapor absorption, and CO2 sequestration.




National Science Foundation, Grant CHE-0809562

Keywords and Phrases

Aerogel; Isocyanate; K-index; Mineral acid; Polyamide; Polyimide; Polyurea; Polyurethane; Structure-property relationships

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

2522-8706; 2522-8692

Document Type

Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Jan 2023