Silica-based aerogels with high transparency and high bending strength were prepared using methyltrimethoxysilane and non-ionic surfactant under supercritical drying condition of CO2. Non-ionic surfactant, ethylene oxide/propylene oxide block copolymer, was appropriate to form the three dimensional-connected thinner fibers of silica skeletons, which was extruded by soaking the wet gel in hot water at 50 °C, resulting in the formation of porous materials having small pores with narrow size distribution. The transparency of aerogels increased with decreasing the pore size, reaching to higher than 65 and 88% at 400 and 600 nm wavelength, respectively, for 10 mm thickness of sample. The formation of fiber skeletons were discussed using small angle X-ray scattering experiments.
- Rayleigh scattering
- Supercritical drying