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Graphene aerogel, world’s lightest material 98% air.

Back in the 1930s, an occult martial was found ‘aerogel’ which was considered as the world lightest solid ever made. In fact, aerogels are so light that if we remove all the air inside them they would be less dense than air! But researchers didn’t stop there and found another kind of aerogel called graphene aerogel or Aerographene with some extended properties.

What is Graphene aerogel?

Aerogels have many remarkable properties they are very light, good thermal insulators, and have a high specific surface area.

Aerogels are technically forms made out of silica but other materials including carbon, iron oxide gold copper, etc are also used to compose aerogel. And by using carbon instead of silica we get carbon aerogel or graphene aerogel.

Graphene aerogel synthesis technique is called lyophilization. In which a hybrid solution of carbon nanotubes and graphene is passed through a process of freeze-drying.

As the results carbon form forms and it fills the container and takes its shape and size. And due to this reason, it is often called ‘frozen smoke’ or ‘solid air’.

The carbon used for composing carbon aerogel is not the common carbon but its Graphene. Graphene is the most intense mater in focus for research since its discovery in 2004.

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Despite being a carbon allotrope graphene is much stronger than steel and diamond. Let’s explore graphene which will help us to understand the properties of Aerographene.

Graphene

Graphene (graphene aerogel)

Graphene is the 2D honeycomb-like arrangement of the carbon atom. Every atom in this 2D arrangement is joined with three other carbon atoms with sp2 bonded or covalently bonded atoms.

Never confuse graphene with graphite which has a very similar structure. Its because graphene is only one layer thick while layers of graphene stacked on one another form graphite.

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Graphene is the thinnest material we have ever found. Despite being thinnest compound it is the strongest material, for example, its more than 200 times stronger than steel. And also a good electrical and thermal conductor.

Based on its astonishing properties there mare many applications where graphene can be used.

Today, every field from electrical to telecommunication, sensor and imaging, and biomedical graphene is useful. And of course in composing graphene aerogel too.

Properties of graphene aerogel.

Carbon aerogels are elastic and can bear compression and regain their original shape. Aerographene has a very low density and can absorb more than 900 times its weight. Therefore it can be used for oil spills, to absorbed all the spilled oil.

Another advantage it has come from graphene. Since its composed of graphene and graphene is a good conductor of electricity so it has many uses in the electric field.

Aerogels are basically forms and have a very large surface area, so they are useful for making electrodes. Apart from only electrodes, Aerographene is useful in making graphene aerogel battery or super batteries which have many amazing properties such as fast charging, long life, and less degradability.

But the research is still on the way for such batteries. But the batteries with all the properties such as fast charging, long life, and less degradability will shortly dominate the future.

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Aerogel vs Aerographene

We know that Aerographene was is the new mod version of aerogels but the properties of both don’t match with many extents.

Therefore, let’s compare both kinds of aerogels, the traditional silica aerogel, and the carbon aerogel.

The classical silica aerogel is 1,000 g/m3 while the density of graphene aerogel is 160 g/m3 therefore it can absorb more liquid than aerogel.

About 99.8% of silica aerogel is air and therefore it scatters light blue color. But Aerographene is totally black and doesn’t scatter any color.

Aerogel is a bad thermal and electric conductor of whereas graphene aerogel has graphene it which is a go conductor heat and electricity.

Common b/w aerogel and graphene aerogel.

They both are aerogels means most of their space is filled with air.

Density of both kind of aerogel is less than air.

They both are compressible and can brittle on applying high pressure.

Specific surface area in both of the materials is large.

And both of them can easily absorb sound.

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