New Transparent Methylsilsesquioxane Aerogels and Xerogels with Improved Mechanical Properties


  • Financial support by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 18·2250 for K.K.) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan (No. 15206072 for K.N.), is gratefully acknowledged.


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Transparent organic–inorganic hybrid aerogels and xerogels are prepared by using a sol–gel synthesis from a single trifunctional precursor, methyltrimethoxysilane (see figure). Obtained aerogels show a reversible shrinkage–recovery response against uniaxial compression. Aerogel-like xerogels are successfully obtained by evaporation drying under ambient pressure because the gels recover from the temporal shrinkage caused by the capillary force of a drying solvent. Pore properties and nanotextures are well-preserved in the resultant xerogels.