Aerogel is a material that is a solid but has a tiny bit of weight to it making it the lightest solid material in the world. The translucent nature of the material has led to it being dubbed frozen smoke. The aerogel has been redesigned by researchers to make it even lighter weight using carbon nanotubes. The new material is called multiwalled carbon nanotube aerogel.
The researchers think that the material might be useful in electronics, inside chemical reactors, and to detect toxic substances. Traditional aerogels are made from silica, metal oxides, and other materials. Making an aerogel from carbon nanotubes has been tried before and is difficult to do.
The researchers that created the new material started with a liquid solution of carbon nanotubnes and then removed the liquid from the wet gel leaving behind the aerogel with a huge surface area. If all the nanotubes inside a one-ounce cube were unraveled and laid side to side and end to end they would cover three football fields.
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