Silica aerogels are among the most easily produced types of aerogels due to the availability of required materials, the cheapness of required materials such as carbon dioxide, ethanol, and tetraethyl orthosilicate, and the relatively simple sol-gel chemistry. Using silica aerogels as skeletons, nanomaterials were easily and effectively structured in three dimensions. The aerogels were doped with nanomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, tungsten disulfide, and molybdenum disulfide by simply dispersing the nanomaterials in ethanol. The resulting aerogels have properties that are tunable with dopant material and concentration. The doped silica aerogels offer an easy, safe, and affordable alternative to pure carbon aerogels that show catalytic properties.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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