University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Place of Publication
Silica aerogel has attracted the attention of researchers for decades for its applications in insulation materials, storage, and solar-thermal devices. The appeal surrounding silica aerogel is attributed to its unique combination of physical and chemical properties. Silica aerogel is a highly porous, optically transparent nano-polymer with a low thermal conductivity. Additionally, the material boasts a super-low density, high specific surface area, and low dielectric constant. The following report proposes a viable method of synthesizing polyvinylpolymethylsilane (PVPMS) aerogel as well as a model for determining the optical performance of TMOS aerogel by determining its radiative properties. First, the report will explore documented applications of silica aerogel. Then, the chemistry and physics of sol-gel processing will introduce the theory section, followed by the microstructure of aerogel and its implications. After, the need for a valid optical model is expressed and the radiative transfer equation (RTE), its supporting equations, and boundary conditions are evaluated with respect to its application to porous, optically transparent materials. Methods in which PVPMS aerogel was synthesized and in which optical modeling was performed on TMOS aerogel will follow theoretical discussion.
I would like to first thank both Dr. Sungwoo Yang and Dr. Louie Elliott for their constant support and encouragement. I would also like to acknowledge the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Endeavors for their funding of this project through both the SEARCH Grant and through the Smart Cities Summer Fellowship.
B. S.; An honors thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Science.
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Margavio, Hannah, "Synthesizing and modeling the optical properties of silica aerogel" (2020). Honors Theses.