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Title: Method for producing metal oxide aerogels

A two-step hydrolysis-condensation method was developed to form metal oxide aerogels of any density, including densities of less than 0.003g/cm.sup.3 and greater than 0.27g/cm.sup.3. High purity metal alkoxide is reacted with water, alcohol solvent, and an additive to form a partially condensed metal intermediate. All solvent and reaction-generated alcohol is removed, and the intermediate is diluted with a nonalcoholic solvent. The intermediate can be stored for future use to make aerogels of any density. The aerogels are formed by reacting the intermediate with water, nonalcoholic solvent, and a catalyst, and extracting the nonalcoholic solvent directly. The resulting monolithic aerogels are hydrophobic and stable under atmospheric conditions, and exhibit good optical transparency, high clarity, and homogeneity. The aerogels have high thermal insulation capacity, high porosity, mechanical strength and stability, and require shorter gelation times than aerogels formed by conventional methods.
Inventors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [2]
  1. (Tracy, CA)
  2. (Livermore, CA)
  3. (Pleasanton, CA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869847
Assignee:
Regents of University of California (Oakland, CA) LLNL
Patent Number(s):
US 5409683
Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
method; producing; metal; oxide; aerogels; two-step; hydrolysis-condensation; developed; form; density; including; densities; 003g; cm; 27g; purity; alkoxide; reacted; water; alcohol; solvent; additive; partially; condensed; intermediate; reaction-generated; removed; diluted; nonalcoholic; stored; future; formed; reacting; catalyst; extracting; directly; resulting; monolithic; hydrophobic; stable; atmospheric; conditions; exhibit; optical; transparency; clarity; homogeneity; thermal; insulation; capacity; porosity; mechanical; strength; stability; require; shorter; gelation; times; conventional; methods; oxide aerogels; producing metal; alcohol solvent; metal alkoxide; conventional methods; thermal insulation; metal oxide; mechanical strength; form metal; optical transparency; gelation times; atmospheric conditions; condensed metal; purity metal; monolithic aerogel; /423/516/