Aerographite Arrives From Hamburg And Kiel

AerographiteHere we present a novel cellular material called Aerographite (density < 200 µg cm?3), more than 4 times lighter than the Ni microlattices, which were up to now the most lightweight materials. Despite its low density it can be fabricated in various macroscopic shapes in the order of several cubic centimeters.

Recently published results about graphene network structures indicate the importance of highly porous, electrical conductive, and mechanical stable foam like structures, for the applications as electrode material for Li ion car batteries or super capacitors.

A new week, and time to cover last week’s new graphite material from Germany. I suspect that this decade and next, we are going to hear a lot more about aerographite and some of the wonderful uses it can be put to.  Once next generation “spintronic,” atomic dimension, transistors arrive, providing true super computers, probably next decade rather than this, aerographite modelling and graphene modelling, will likely result in fast uptake of the new material.

Think in terms of Frank Sprague electrifying subways and elevators around the turn of the 19th century, but at a 21st century speed level. Back then he made mass transit, fast subway travel a reality for the world’s major cities. Effectively making urban sprawl an economic reality. He also made possible the modern, ever higher skyscraper. Fast safe  elevators, both local and express. Our cities have never looked back since. I suspect that something similar is about to happen with aerographite and graphene.

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Aerographite claims title of World’s Lightest Solid Material
By Ben Coxworth 13:46 July 12, 2012
While they were each once hailed as the lightest solid material ever made, metallic microlattice and aerogel have now been moved back to second and third place (respectively), with aerographite taking the crown. Developed by a team from the Technical University of Hamburg and Germany’s University of Kiel, the material is composed of 99.99 percent air, along with a three-dimensional network of porous carbon nanotubes that were grown into each other.

Aerographite has a density of less than 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimeter, which allows it be compressed by a factor of 1,000, then subsequently spring back to its original state. Despite its extremely low density, it is black and optically-opaque in appearance. By contrast, the density of metallic microlattice sits at 0.9 mg per cubic centimeter.

The scientists discovered the sponge-like material when they were researching three-dimensionally cross-linked carbon structures. It is reportedly much more robust than the relatively fragile aerogel, being able to withstand at least 35 times as much mechanical force for its density. It is grown in a one-step process using zinc oxide templates, which allow blocks of the material to be created in various shapes, in sizes as large as several cubic centimeters.

Because it is electrically conductive and chemical-resistant, it could potentially find its way into devices such as batteries.

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Aerographite: Ultra Lightweight, Flexible Nanowall, Carbon Microtube Material with Outstanding Mechanical Performance
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