The successful incorporation of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) into silica aerogels prepared by sol-gel method is reported herein. Pure silica aerogels prepared using sodium silicate precursor by ambient pressure drying are so fragile that they cannot be used easily. MWCNTs were used as reinforcements to improve the mechanical properties of silica aerogels. Results show that inserting small amounts of MWCNTs in the gels causes enhanced dimensional stability of silica aerogels. The silica aerogels were prepared by dopingMWCNTs in silica matrix before gelation. The influence of MWCNTs on some microstructural aspects of silica matrix has been studied using nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms. From SEM study it is confirmed that the silica particles get capped on the surface of MWCNTs suggesting an enhanced toughness. Further, FTIR, Raman, EDAX, thermal conductivity and hydrophobicity studies of these doped aerogels were carried out. By addition of MWCNTs, silica aerogels were formed with 706 m 2/g BET and 1,200 m 2/g Langmuir surface areas and 149 contact angle. Low density (0.052 g/cc) and low thermal conductivity (0.067 W/m K) MWCNTs doped silica aerogels were obtained for the molar ratio of Na 2SiO 3:: H 2O::MWCNTs::citric acid::TMCS at 1::146.67::2.5 × 10 -3::0.54::9.46 respectively with improved mechanical strength.
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Acknowledgment This study was supported by a grant from DAPA and ADD, Republic of Korea. One of the authors Uzma K. H. Bangi is highly grateful to the BK office for the financial support through post-doctorate fellowship.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Ceramics and Composites
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Materials Chemistry