About this Research Topic
Aerogels are highly porous low-density materials that have a three-dimensional interconnected open pore structure. They are typically obtained by the sol-gel process followed by a specific drying process. There are many types of aerogels, including compositions such as silica, metal oxide, polymer, chalcogenide, organic-inorganic hybrid, carbon, nanocarbons, and metals, which can now be obtained via various methods. Benefiting from their unique porous structures, aerogels possess a variety of attractive properties such as high specific surface area, high porosity, low density, and low thermal conductivity. They have drawn great interest in a wide range of applications including thermal insulation, adsorption/absorption, separation, catalysis, energy storage, and sensing.
Although aerogels have many unique properties, much work is left to be done. The past decade has seen an explosion in new formulations, synthetic pathways, and applications, and aerogels are now becoming increasingly commercialized. Developments in enhancing mechanical durability, reducing cost, and extending formulations to new compositions are of high interest to the community. Advanced aerogels with novel nanostructures and properties are increasingly sought after to broaden their applications. Our aim is to bring together the latest ideas in the field of advanced functional aerogels to highlight promising trends in their preparation/fabrication towards achieving novel thermal, mechanical, electrical, optical, magnetic, biological, and chemical properties that help address the world’s challenges.
The scope of this Research Topic covers advances in preparation, properties, and applications of novel functional aerogels. Both Original Research and Review articles are welcome. Areas to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
- Low-cost production of aerogels
- Additive manufacturing of aerogels
- Novel compositions including metals and non-oxide binary inorganic compounds
- Mechanically durable aerogels
- Aerogels with novel nanostructure and properties
- Advanced aerogels for various applications including thermal insulation, adsorption/absorption, separation, catalysis, energy storage, energy generation, solar fuels, and sensing
- Aerogels with complex microstructures and macroscopic features
Dr. Steiner is the President & CEO of Aerogel Technologies, LLC, a commercial producer of aerogels. He is the founder and a stakeholder in the company. This should not pose any conflict for this project, as he is also an academic and serves as an editor and conference organizer for the aerogel community and will maintain objectivity.
Dr. Christian Scherdel: Co-ordinator for the project.
Keywords: aerogels, preparation, porous structure, properties, applications
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.