Polymer-silica nanocomposite aerogels with enhanced mechanical properties using Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) of cyanoacrylates

Dylan J. Boday, Douglas A. Loy, Kimberley A. DeFriend, Kennard V. Wilson, David Coder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Aerogels were structurally modified using chemical vapor deposition (CVD) of cyanoacrylate monomers to afford polycyanoacrylate-aerogel nanocomposites. Silica aerogels are low density, high surface area materials whose applications are limited by their fragility. Cyanoacrylate CVD allowed us to deposit a film of organic polymer throughout fragile porous monoliths within hours. Our experiments have shown that polymerization of the cyanoacrylate monomers was initiated by the adsorbed water on the surface of the silica permitting the nanocomposites structures to be formed with little or no sample preparation. We found that the strength of the polycyanoacrylate-aerogel nanocomposites increased thirty two-fold over the un-treated aerogels with only a three-fold increase in density and an eight-fold decrease in surface area. Along with the improvement in mechanical properties, the aerogels became less hydrophilic than un-modified aerogels. Polycyanoacrylate-coated aerogels were placed directly into water and did not suffer catastrophic fragmentation as observed with un-modified silica aerogels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - CIS Workshops 2007, 2007 International Conference on Computational Intelligence and Security Workshops, CISW 2007
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2008
Event2007 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 9 2007Apr 13 2007

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2007 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Polymer-silica nanocomposite aerogels with enhanced mechanical properties using Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) of cyanoacrylates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this