Aerogels—Preparation, properties, applications
About 1000 papers on aerogels have been published so far, with nearly 200 now being added per year. These numbers demonstrate the attraction which these low density materials exert on physicists, chemists and material scientists. With respect to basic science the (fractal) structure, the dynamics, the low temperature thermal properties and the interaction of guest molecules with the aerogel skeleton are of special interest. Applications of aerogels as low-n-material in Cerenkov detectors, as acoustic impedance matching layer, as catalytic substrate, as gas filter or as thermal insulant require the detailed knowledge of structure as well as of optical, thermal and acoustical properties; furthermore the technical utilization of aerogels requires the art of modifying the structural build-up, the porosity and composition in a controlled way.
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