Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 3221-3227

First online:

Organic aerogels from the polycondensation of resorcinol with formaldehyde

  • R. W. PekalaAffiliated withLawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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The polycondensation of resorcinol with formaldehyde under alkaline conditions results in the formation of surface functionalized polymer “clusters”. The covalent crosslinking of these “clusters” produces gels which are processed under supercritical conditions to obtain low density, organic aerogels ( ⩽ 0.1 g cm−3). The aerogels are transparent, dark red in colour, and consist of interconnected colloidal-like particles with diameters of approximately 10 nm. The polymerization mechanism, structure and properties of the resorcinol-formaldehyde aerogels are similar to the sol-gel processing of silica.