Aerogel Chemical Formula

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Aerogel is a material that has many unique qualities, including very low thermal conductivity and extremely high porosity. These properties have a number of applications in multiple fields such as thermal insulators, piezoelectrics, catalysis, energy storage and generation, biomedical implants and devices, coatings and sensors.

The aerogel chemical formula is a mixture of mainly silica and liquid carbon dioxide. This mixture is created by combining a silica solution with a solvent, and then subjected to supercritical fluid extraction. This process extracts all of the liquid from the gel.

Several methods of preparing aerogels exist, the most common method being the sol-gel process. The sol-gel process is an effective method of preparing a wide range of materials, however some aerogels are not compatible with the Sol-gel process.

A variety of catalysts can be used to prepare aerogels, most commonly hydroxyl radicals and ammonia. Acid catalysts have the advantage of promoting very low shrinkage during the supercritical drying phase and can be used to prepare aerogels that may be less transparent than base catalyzed aerogels.

Resorcinol-formaldehyde aerogels are polymers chemically similar to phenol formaldehyde resins and are often used as precursors for the manufacture of carbon aerogels or when an organic insulator with large surface is desired. These aerogels can have a surface area of around 600 m2/g.

Aerogels have many distinct physical characteristics, such as a low thermal conductivity, ultra-high porosity and high specific surface area. The material is also very light and strong, a factor that has led to its widespread use in space missions.