Silicone-containing hybrid systems including functionalized and modified silica nanospheres as well as silica aerogels were synthesized using sol-gel process. The most important advantage of the developed silicon-containing hybrids lies in their high application potential, e.g. for the production of façade paints, polymer nanocomposites, highly efficient insulating materials and other high-tech products for construction industry. The possibility of precise steering of sol-gel process and synergism of very rich silicon compound chemistry allows to obtain materials with strategically designed architecture. Original methods of manufacturing following silicon-containing hybrids such as functionalized and non-functionalized silica nanospheres, silica nanospheres containing immobilized silver and/or copper nanoparticles and silica aerogels were developed. Homogeneous structural properties of synthesized materials were achieved due to carefully selected parameters of sol-gel process. The technology offers a possibility to control the grain size and uniformity of nanospheres by process parameters. The smallest nanosphere size is 10 nm and the largest 600 nm. The properties of aerogels obtained according to the original technology developed in the Industrial Chemistry Research Institute (ICRI) are extremely good and repetitive particularly taking into account their thermal conductivity. The main advantages of the developed aerogels are very good mechanical properties, very low dust formation and significantly decreased costs when compared to traditional silica aerogels.
Part of the book: Recent Applications in Sol-Gel Synthesis