Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Title

Polyimide Aerogels Cross-Linked through Amine Functionalized Polyoligomeric Silsesquioxane

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-4-2011

Abstract

We report the first synthesis of polyimide aerogels cross-linked through a polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane, octa(aminophenyl)silsesquioxane (OAPS). Gels formed from polyamic acid solutions of 3,3',4,4'-biphenyltetracarboxylic dianhydride (BPDA), bisaniline-p-xylidene (BAX) and OAPS were chemically imidized and dried using supercritical CO(2) extraction to give aerogels having density around 0.1 g/cm(3). The aerogels are greater than 90 % porous, have high surface areas (230 to 280 m(2)/g) and low thermal conductivity (14 mW/m-K at room temperature). Notably, the polyimide aerogels cross-linked with OAPS have higher modulus than polymer reinforced silica aerogels of similar density and can be fabricated as both monoliths and thin films. Thin films of the aerogel are flexible and foldable making them an ideal insulation for space suits, and inflatable structures for habitats or decelerators for planetary re-entry, as well as more down to earth applications.

Publication Title

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces

Volume

3

Issue

2

First Page

546

Last Page

552