Optically Transparent Polymer Aerogels Via Controlled Radical Polymerization


ACS Appl. Polym. Mater. 2022, XXXX, XXX, XXX-XXX Publication Date:February 8, 2022 https://doi.org/10.1021/acsapm.1c01854 © 2022 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society


We present a class of porous polymer monoliths with high visible light transmittance and low haze synthesized using nitroxide-mediated stable free radical polymerization (SFRP), a form of controlled radical polymerization, to suppress large pore structures. Such materials can find applications in thermally insulated windows. Aerogels with adjustable optical and pore properties were achieved by modulating the nitroxide radical equilibrium. Controlled radical polymerization resulted in materials with average pore widths <10 nm, porosities of 43%, and high visible transmittance >60% (for 2.8 mm thickness). These results provide general design rules for radical polymerization of clear, colorless porous polymers.

View the publication (pdf)

Read more from SRI