RPG Student List


Jiaxian LUO

Master Candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Supervisor: Prof. King Lun YEUNG


Research Topic

Synthesis of Flexible Silica Aerogels


Aerogel material, a novel porous material derived from a wet gel, usually presents low density, high specific surface area and thermal insulation property. It is prepared by polymerizing monomer solution into wet gel and replacing the solvent with air by supercritical drying. Aerogel could be applied as catalyst support, microfilter, thermal insulator, leaked oil absorber and so on. However, the brittleness and water sensitivity limit its actual applications. Thus, researches on increasing the aerogel flexibility and hydrophobicity were conducted.
This study aims at developing a precisely controllable process to synthesize flexible silica aerogel. The flexible silica aerogel was characterized by compression tester, contact angle goniometer, scanning electron microscopy, surface area analyzer, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy and so on. The synthesis parameters such as precursor ratio, reaction time and temperature were discussed to optimize the aerogel properties.