Optically transparent silica aerogels based on sodium silicate by a two step sol-gel process and ambient pressure drying

Uzma K.H. Bangi, In Keun Jung, Chang Sun Park, Seungsu Baek, Hyung Ho Park

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58 Citations (Scopus)


Interest in improving the optical transmission of sodium silicate-based aerogels by ambient pressure drying led to the synthesis of aerogels using a two-step sol-gel process. To produce optically transparent silica aerogel granules, NH4F (1 M) and HCl (4 M) were used as hydrolyzing and condensation catalysts, respectively. The silica aerogels were characterized by their bulk density, porosity (%), contact angle and thermal conductivity. Optical transmission of as synthesized aerogels was studied by comparing the photos of aerogel granules. Scanning electron microscopic study showed the presence of fractal structures in these aerogels. The degree of transparency in two step sol-gel process-based aerogels is higher than the conventional single step aerogels. The N2 adsorption-desorption analysis depicts that the two step sol-gel based aerogels have large surface areas. Optically transparent silica aerogels with a low density of ∼0.125 g/cc, low thermal conductivity of ∼0.128 W/mK and higher Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller surface area of ∼425 m2/g were obtained by using NH4F (1 M), HCl (4 M), and a molar ratio of Na2SiO3::H2O:: trimethylchlorosilane of 1::146.67::9.46. The aerogels retained their hydrophobicity up to 500 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-57
Number of pages8
JournalSolid State Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from DAPA and ADD , Republic of Korea. One of the authors, Uzma K. H. Bangi, is very grateful to the BK office for financial support provided by a post-doctorate fellowship .

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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