University of Missouri Research Board

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Defining Aerogels

Leventis likens aerogels to pearl necklaces. As a lightweight, low-density solid, aerogels consist of nanoparticles with “well-defined weak spots on the solid network that forms the aerogel,” like the space between pearls on a necklace. The process of strengthening aerogels, called cross-linking, was discovered by Leventis in 2002. Cross-linked aerogels have more functions than their more fragile relatives—from thermal and acoustic insulation to armor applications.

Chemical Curiosity

Nicholas Leventis
Professor, Chemistry
Missouri S&T

By Brittany Barr