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As early as 1931, Steven S. Kistler began to study airgel. His initial approach was to acid concentrate with sodium silicate solution, redissolve the silicon dioxide with supercritical water, exchange the water in the pores with ethanol, and then use the supercritical fluid drying technology to make the initial true gas gel. This material is characterized by transparency, low density, high porosity. But by the means of scientific research at the time constraints, the development of this material has not attracted the attention of the scientific community.

In the 1970s, with the support of the French government, Stanislaus Teichner was looking for a storage of oxygen and rocket fuel in the process of porous materials, to find a new synthesis method, that is, the sol - gel chemical method for the preparation of silicon dioxide airgel. This method promotes the development of airgel science.

Since then, airgel science and technology has been rapid developed. 1983 Arlon Hunt at Berkeley Real the laboratory found that a more secure and inexpensive method of producing silicon dioxide airgel could be used. At the same time, the Microstructure Materials Research Group has found that supercritical dry fluids can be replaced by carbon dioxide supercritical fluids with lower critical temperatures and critical pressures, enabling supercritical drying to move forward in practical applications.

In the late 1980s, researchers in the LLNL prepared the world's lightest silicon dioxide aerogels, the density is 0.003 g / cm3, only 3 times the air. Shortly afterwards, Rick Pekala (LLNL) prepared organic airgel, including resorcinol-formaldehyde aerogels, and melamine-formaldehyde aerogels. Resorcinol-formaldehyde aerogels can be pyrolyzed to obtain pure carbon aerogels, which opens up a new field of airgel research. 

Into the nineties, the field of research for the more in-depth airgel. According to incomplete statistics, in recent years in various magazines on the article of airgel to reach more than 3000 articles. The American journal of science lists aerogels as one of the top ten.

 

 

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