Date of Award

6-2005

Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Chemistry

Language

English

Abstract

The research found in this report focuses on varying the amount of water used in the fabrication of silica aerogels and characterizing the effect this has on their physical properties, such as density, thermal conductivity and transmittance. So far, the aerogels made with the "original" recipe have produced average density of 0.09 g/cm3 and thermal conductivity of 0.04 W/mK; these properties are not significantly altered as the amount of water used is increased or decreased. However, there is an observable trend in transmittance; as more water is added to the "standard" recipe, the resulting monoliths become more transparent and less opaque indicating that more light is transmitted through the samples. Also included in this report is a study of aerogels as potential platforms for chemical sensors.

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