The 5th International Summer School on Aerogels held in Cologne is organized cooperatively by the Hamburg University of Technology (Germany), the University of Salzburg (Austria), the Empa in Dübendorf (Switzerland) and the Department of Aerogels from Institute of Materials Research at the German Aerospace Center. During this workshop participants will be introduced to the fascinating properties of aerogels and perform many lab-on experiments learning how to synthesize and characterize inorganic, organic and bio-polymeric aerogels.
Aerogels are nano-structured open porous materials synthesized via a sol-gel processing. They most often combine such extraordinary properties as high porosity (up to 99.9 %), ultralow density (50-200 kg/m3), and huge surface area (up to 2000 m2/g). Aerogels are among the best thermal insulators known (thermal conductivity 5 to 20 mW/mK). Organic and inorganic aerogels can be prepared via sol-gel processing, a technique which requires precursors in alcoholic or aqueous solutions, where the end structure (particle and pore size) depends on the catalyst and varies between nanometer and micrometer scale. After the gelation process the enclosed pore liquid has to be carefully removed to preserve the nanostructure of the aerogel. This is most often done by supercritical drying or extraction, but can also be done in some wet gels by simple solvent evaporation under ambient pressure at elevated temperature. Bio-polymeric aerogels are made from dissolved biopolymers like cellulose, chitosan, starch, or alginates which on cooling rearrange themselves into a three dimension nano-felt structure with extreme properties.
(PhD-)Students, Postdocs, experienced scientists from universities, research organization and industry are invited to make a unique experience: the manufacturing and characterization of a fascinating nanostructured material.
|Material Scientist and ESA Astronaut Dr. Matthias Maurer joins the 5th International Summer School on Aerogels this year.
Sharing the passion for high performance multifunctional materials, he will take action in the syntheses and characterization methods and become an active participant of our summer school.