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What is the least dense material known to man?

Graphene aerogel.

(Graphene aerogel being balanced on a blade of grass!)


Air has an approximate density of 1.2 kg/m^3, and graphene aerogel is seven times lighter than (an equivalent volume of) air. This material was successfully synthesised by researchers at Zhejiang University, China. The precursor materials used were graphene (which is a single layer of sp2-bonded carbon atoms) and carbon nanotubes or CNTs (single/ multiple rolled-up sheets of graphene). A solution of these two materials is poured into a suitable told and subjected to "freeze-drying". Freeze-Drying is a process where one reduces the temperature of a material to freeze it, and then reduces the surrounding pressure, so that the liquid phase (which freezes into a solid) then undergoes sublimation to the gas phase. This route avoids the direct liquid-gas transition (involved in usual drying).

Freeze-drying results in high dehydration of the 'graphene+CNT' mixture and results in a structure where the carbon atoms of graphene monolayers supported by a framework of CNTs. The final product has a measured density of 0.16 mg/cc, with good absorption properties. This has been purported to have usage in cleaning oceanic oil spills.

(A graphene aerogel moulded to be ~ 1 inch across and weighing 5 mg, is being balanced on the stamen of a flower).


This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.

Have you ever heard about aerogel before?

#Science #Quora

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What are your thoughts on this subject?
38 Comments
Teresa
This graphene aerogel has amazing properties. The possibilities of its use is endless. It's weightless and strong. Is it costly to produce?;Is the question.
0
Dec 6, 2020 8:35AM
Edward Morris
If it is seven times lighter (or less dense) than air, why does it not float up through the atmosphere until the densities of both graphene aerogel and air even out.
0
Sep 13, 2020 7:41AM
tbear
Richard Perkins, loose like wheat to me!
0
May 11, 2020 9:50PM
jojodamico
It it's used to clean oil spills in the ocean, I'm all for it!
1
Jan 5, 2020 5:06PM
Shakeel Zaidi
msouleusa, msouleusa, Nice memories. Do you still remember the smell 🤔
0
Oct 9, 2019 4:14AM
msouleusa
This information totally contradicts my previous belief. My father who was the smartest man I ever knew told me that a fart was the lightest materiel in the world. Now that I think about it maybe he said "lightest GAS", I don't know anymore.
2
Jul 28, 2019 6:43AM
Ian Harris
Mind boggling!!
0
Jul 7, 2019 10:07AM
stellaclaude
Never heard of it! Cool.
0
Jun 27, 2019 7:05PM
Sue Gembrini-Spataro
I’ll remember
0
May 19, 2019 11:01PM
Flyingtigers nunn
I knew that Graphene was light, but a 1 inch cube of it weighing only 5 milligrams! WOW!
1
Apr 11, 2019 10:15PM
Lynne Zeman
Very good info
1
Mar 28, 2019 6:29PM
Hugh Prewett
It is said that a tank can be driven over graphene and it will not crush or be smashed etc etc.
2
Feb 12, 2019 5:33PM
Christine Flannery
Very interesting
0
Jan 17, 2019 10:38PM
Mo Con
I knew that already !!
0
Dec 14, 2018 7:47PM
Fern Villarin
that's really cool!
0
Dec 2, 2018 4:26PM

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