Researchers create shape-memory aerogels with rubber-like elasticity

A time-lapse of one of the aerogels flexing from a held-closed position back to its original straight shape. Photo by Sam O’Keefe/Missouri S&T.

Polymeric aerogels are nanoporous structures that combine some of the most desirable characteristics of materials, such as flexibility and mechanical strength. It is nearly impossible to improve on a substance considered the final frontier in lightweight materials. But chemists from Missouri University of Science and Technology have done just that by making aerogels that have rubber-like elasticity and can “remember” their original shapes.

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UMR chemist is one of 15 to receive international Nano 50 award

Dr. Nicholas Leventis, professor of chemistry at the University of Missouri-Rolla, is one of 15 innovators included in the 2007 Nano 50 Awards presented by Nanotech Briefs magazine, the publication announced Thursday, June 14. Leventis is being recognized for his groundbreaking research in the development of polymer cross-linked aerogels.

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