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Title: Flexible transparent aerogels as window retrofitting films and optical elements with tunable birefringence

Abstract

Experimental realization of optically transparent, mechanically robust and flexible aerogels has been a longstanding challenge, which limits their practical applications in energy-saving devices, such as thermally insulating films for enhancing energy efficiency of windows. The poor transparency precluded even hypothetical consideration of the possibility of birefringent aerogels. We develop birefringent and optically isotropic aerogels that combine properties of thermal super-insulation, mechanical robustness and flexibility, and transparency to visible-spectrum light. This unusual combination of physical properties is achieved by combining liquid crystalline self-organization of cellulose nanofibers with polysiloxane cross-linking and control of the nanoscale porosity to form hybrid organic-inorganic mesostructured aerogels. Potential applications of these inexpensive materials range from single pane window retrofitting to smart fabrics.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
U.S. Department of Energy, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)
OSTI Identifier:
1433476
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-5500-71320
Journal ID: ISSN 2211-2855
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nano Energy; Journal Volume: 48; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; aerogel; cellulose nanofiber; liquid crystal; thermal insulation; transparent

Citation Formats

Liu, Qingkun, Frazier, Allister W., Zhao, Xinpeng, De La Cruz, Joshua A., Hess, Andrew J., Yang, Ronggui, and Smalyukh, Ivan I.. Flexible transparent aerogels as window retrofitting films and optical elements with tunable birefringence. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.03.029.
Liu, Qingkun, Frazier, Allister W., Zhao, Xinpeng, De La Cruz, Joshua A., Hess, Andrew J., Yang, Ronggui, & Smalyukh, Ivan I.. Flexible transparent aerogels as window retrofitting films and optical elements with tunable birefringence. United States. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.03.029.
Liu, Qingkun, Frazier, Allister W., Zhao, Xinpeng, De La Cruz, Joshua A., Hess, Andrew J., Yang, Ronggui, and Smalyukh, Ivan I.. Fri . "Flexible transparent aerogels as window retrofitting films and optical elements with tunable birefringence". United States. doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.03.029.
@article{osti_1433476,
title = {Flexible transparent aerogels as window retrofitting films and optical elements with tunable birefringence},
author = {Liu, Qingkun and Frazier, Allister W. and Zhao, Xinpeng and De La Cruz, Joshua A. and Hess, Andrew J. and Yang, Ronggui and Smalyukh, Ivan I.},
abstractNote = {Experimental realization of optically transparent, mechanically robust and flexible aerogels has been a longstanding challenge, which limits their practical applications in energy-saving devices, such as thermally insulating films for enhancing energy efficiency of windows. The poor transparency precluded even hypothetical consideration of the possibility of birefringent aerogels. We develop birefringent and optically isotropic aerogels that combine properties of thermal super-insulation, mechanical robustness and flexibility, and transparency to visible-spectrum light. This unusual combination of physical properties is achieved by combining liquid crystalline self-organization of cellulose nanofibers with polysiloxane cross-linking and control of the nanoscale porosity to form hybrid organic-inorganic mesostructured aerogels. Potential applications of these inexpensive materials range from single pane window retrofitting to smart fabrics.},
doi = {10.1016/j.nanoen.2018.03.029},
journal = {Nano Energy},
number = C,
volume = 48,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2018},
month = {Fri Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2018}
}