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Unusual flexibility of transparent poly(methylsilsesquioxane) aerogels by surfactant-induced mesoscopic fiber-like assembly

Authors
  • Ueoka, Ryota
  • Hara, Yosuke
  • Maeno, Ayaka
  • Kaji, Hironori
  • Nakanishi, Kazuki
  • Kanamori, Kazuyoshi
Publication Date
Jan 11, 2024
Source
Kyoto University Research Information Repository
Keywords
Language
English
License
Green
External links

Abstract

ガラスのように透明で曲げられるエアロゲル --高性能透明断熱材として期待--. 京都大学プレスリリース. 2024-01-19. / High-performance thermal insulators represented by aerogels are regarded as one of the most promising materials for energy savings. However, significantly low mechanical strength has been a barrier for aerogels to be utilized in various social domains such as houses, buildings, and industrial plants. Here, we report a synthetic strategy to realize highly transparent aerogels with unusually high bending flexibility based on poly(methylsilsesquioxane) (PMSQ) network. We have constructed mesoscopic fine fiber-like structures of various sizes in PMSQ gels by the combination of phase separation suppression by tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAOH) and mesoscopic fiber-like assembly by nonionic poly(ethylene oxide)-b-poly(propylene oxide)-b-poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO-b-PPO-b-PEO) type surfactant. The optimized mesoscale structures of PMSQ gels have realized highly transparent and resilient monolithic aerogels with much high bendability compared to those reported in previous works. This work will provide a way to highly insulating materials with glasslike transparency and high mechanical flexibility.

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