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Molecules 2018, 23(4), 797; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23040797

A Co-Precursor Approach Coupled with a Supercritical Modification Method for Constructing Highly Transparent and Superhydrophobic Polymethylsilsesquioxane Aerogels

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Xueyuan Road 37, Beijing 100191, China
2
National Key Laboratory of Advanced Functional Composite Materials, Aerospace Research Institute of Materials and Processing Technology, Beijing 100076, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 21 March 2018 / Published: 30 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chemistry of Aerogels and Their Applications)
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Abstract

Polymethylsilsesquioxane (PMSQ) aerogels obtained from methyltrimethoxysilane (MTMS) are well-known high-performance porous materials. Highly transparent and hydrophobic PMSQ aerogel would play an important role in transparent vacuum insulation panels. Herein, the co-precursor approach and supercritical modification method were developed to prepare the PMSQ aerogels with high transparency and superhydrophobicity. Firstly, benefiting from the introduction of tetramethoxysilane (TMOS) in the precursor, the pore structure became more uniform and the particle size was decreased. As the TMOS content increased, the light transmittance increased gradually from 54.0% to 81.2%, whereas the contact angle of water droplet decreased from 141° to 99.9°, ascribed to the increase of hydroxyl groups on the skeleton surface. Hence, the supercritical modification method utilizing hexamethyldisilazane was also introduced to enhance the hydrophobic methyl groups on the aerogel’s surface. As a result, the obtained aerogels revealed superhydrophobicity with a contact angle of 155°. Meanwhile, the developed surface modification method did not lead to any significant changes in the pore structure resulting in the superhydrophobic aerogel with a high transparency of 77.2%. The proposed co-precursor approach and supercritical modification method provide a new horizon in the fabrication of highly transparent and superhydrophobic PMSQ aerogels. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymethylsilsesquioxane aerogels; co-precursor; supercritical modification; transparency; superhydrophobicity polymethylsilsesquioxane aerogels; co-precursor; supercritical modification; transparency; superhydrophobicity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Lei, C.; Li, J.; Sun, C.; Yang, H.; Xia, T.; Hu, Z.; Zhang, Y. A Co-Precursor Approach Coupled with a Supercritical Modification Method for Constructing Highly Transparent and Superhydrophobic Polymethylsilsesquioxane Aerogels. Molecules 2018, 23, 797.

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