Silica aerogels have drawn a lot of interest both in science and technology because of their low bulk density (up to 95 of their volume is air), hydrophobicity, low thermal conductivity, high surface area, and optical transparency. Aerogels are synthesized from molecular precursors by sol-gel processing. Special drying techniques must be applied to replace the pore liquid with air while maintaining the solid network. Supercritical drying is most common; however, recently developed methods allow removal of the liquid at atmospheric pressure after chemical modification of the inner surface of the gels, leaving only a porous silica network filled with air. Therefore, by considering the surprising properties of aerogels, the present review addresses synthesis of silica aerogels by the sol-gel method, as well as drying techniques and applications in current industrial development and scientific research.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)