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Research Progress

Vacuum-dried robust bridged silsesquioxane aerogels

2013-9-27

Aerogels are a class of amazing porous materials with very low density.However, the fragility and laborious drying methods have largely restricted the practical application of traditional aerogels. Recently, prof Xu Jian's group reported an extremely facile preparation of robust hybrid aerogels which derived from a thioether bridged silsesquioxane precursor. Benefitting from the flexible thioether bridge in the hybrid gels, robust aerogels with low density are obtained by a straightforward Vacuum-Drying method for the first time. The drying method is much more convenient than the conventional supercritical dying or ambient pressure drying. The asformed aerogels are able to bear more than 50% compression, 20 times at least repeated compressions at a deformation of 30% and reprocessing by wet doping. The excellent robustness and facile preparation procedure of the aerogels promise wide practical applications. The result has been published in Advanced Materials, 2013, 25, 4494-4497.

Up: procedurescheme of vacuum-drying; bottom: digital images demonstrating the low density and the elasticity of the vacuum-dried aerogels.