Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 27, Issue 16, pp 4341–4349 | Cite as

Imaging aerogels at the molecular level

  • G. C. Ruben
  • R. W. Pekala
  • T. M. Tillotson
  • L. W. Hrubesh


Aerogels are a special class of open-cell foams that have an ultrafine cell/pore size (<50 nm), high surface area (400–1000 m2 g−1), and an ultrastructure composed of interconnected colloidal-like particles or polymeric chains with characteristic dimensions of 10 nm. The purpose of this paper is to directly image a series of resorcinol-formaldehyde (RF) and silica aerogels by high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). A new vertical replication technique allows us to examine aerogels at the molecular level in situ so that differences in polymeric and colloidal aerogels can be visualized. Such information is crucial for nano-engineering the structure and properties of these novel materials.


Polymer Microscopy Electron Microscopy Transmission Electron Microscopy Foam 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    “Aerogels”, edited by J. Fricke (Springer-Verlag, New York, 1986).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. Fricke, Sci. Amer. 258 (1988) 92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Idem, in “Sol-Gel Science and Technology”, edited by M. A. Aegerter, M. Jafelicci, D. F. Souza and E. D. Sanotto (World Science Publishers, New Jersey, 1989) p. 482.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    C. J. Brinker and G. W. Scherer, in “Sol-Gel Science” (Academic Press, New York, 1990).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Idem, J. Non-Cryst. Solids 70 (1985) 301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    See “Better Ceramics Through Chemistry I–IV”, Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 32, 73, 121, 180 (1984, 1986, 1988, 1990).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. W. Pekala, J. Mater. Sci. 24 (1989) 3221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    R. W. Pekala and F. M. Kong, J. de Physique Coll. Suppl. 50 (1989) C4–33.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Idem, Polym. Prpts. 30 (1989) 221.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. W. Pekala, Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 171 (1990) 285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    D. W. Schaefer, J. P. Wilcoxon, K. D. Keefer, B. C. Bunker, R. K. Pearson, I. M. Thomas and D. E. Miller, in “Physics and Chemistry of Porous Media II”, edited by J. R. Banavar, J. Koplik, K. W. Winkler, AIP Conference Proceedings 154 (1986) 1.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    D. W. Schaefer, Science 243 (1989) 1023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    A. Craievich, M. A. Aegerter, D. I. Dos Santos, T. Woignier and J. Zarzycki, J. Non-Cryst. Solids 86 (1986) 394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    L. W. Kelts and N. J. Armstrong, J. Mater. Res. 4 (1989) 423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    T. Woignier, J. Phalippou and R. Vacher, ibid. 4 (1989) 688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    G. C. Ruben, J. Elect. Microsc. Tech. 13 (1989) 335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    M. W. Shafer, D. D. Awschalom, J. Warnock and G. C. Ruben, J. Appl. Phys. 61 (1987) 5438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    G. C. Ruben and M. W. Shafer, Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 73 (1986) 207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    D. D. Werstler, Polymer 27 (1986) 757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    A. Sebenik, U. Osredkar and I. Vizovisek, ibid. 22 (1981) 804.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    R. W. Pekala and R. L. Ward, Polym. Prpts. 31 (1990) 167.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    J. D. Lemay, R. W. Pekala and L. W. Hrubesh, Pacific Polym. Prpts. 1 (1989) 295.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    R. W. Pekala, C. T. Alviso and J. D. Lemay, J. NonCryst. Solids 125 (1990) 67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    J. D. Lemay, T. M. Tillotson, L. W. Hrubesh and R. W. Pekala, Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 180 (1990) 321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    L. J. Gibson and M. F. Ashby, Proc Royal Soc. Lond. 382(A) (1982) 43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    E. A. Meinecke and R. C. Clark, in “Mechanical Properties of Polymeric Foams” (Technomic Publications, CT, 1973).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Ruben
    • 1
  • R. W. Pekala
    • 2
  • T. M. Tillotson
    • 2
  • L. W. Hrubesh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Chemistry and Materials Science DepartmentLawrence Livermore National LaboratoryLivermoreUSA

Personalised recommendations