Colloid and Polymer Science

, Volume 281, Issue 7, pp 637–651 | Cite as

Some applications of silica aerogels

Original Contribution


Silica aerogels are very highly divided materials which are synthesised through the association of a chemical step, the so-called sol–gel chemistry, with a physical step which is a particular way of drying the wet gel, namely under supercritical conditions with respect to the liquid phase filling its porosity. This drying process preserves the texture of the dry material: in practice it strongly reduces the pore collapse. The resulting hyperporous solids that have bulk densities of the same magnitude as air develop new and very interesting physical and even chemical properties. Owing to their poor chemical reactivity, very large surface areas (of the order of 1,000 m2/g), unusual porous volumes (greater than 95%), morphologies (monoliths or powders), optical properties (transparent, opaque or translucent), and very low thermal conductivity, they find high added-value applications in the physics of high-energy particles (Cherenkov emitters), transparent and superinsulating double windows, life and space science as well.


Silica Aerogels Synthesis Properties Applications 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire d'Applications de la Chimie à l'Environnement UMR, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1-CNRS N° 5634Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1Villeurbanne CedexFrance

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