Interfacial Engineering to Tailor the Properties of Multifunctional Ultralight Weight hBN-Polymer Composite Aerogels

Sehmus Ozden, Nikita S. Dutta, Katelyn Randazzo, Thierry Tsafack, Craig B. Arnold, Rodney D. Priestley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A common feature of aerogels is that they are brittle and suffer from poor mechanical properties. The development of high-performance, lightweight, and mechanically robust polymer composite aerogels may find use in a broad range of applications such as packaging, transportation, construction, electronics, and aerospace. Most aerogels are made of ceramic materials, such as silica, alumina, and carbide. These aerogels are dense and brittle. Two-dimensional (2D) layered nanostructures such as graphene, graphene oxide and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) have promising potential in emerging technologies including those involved in extreme environmental conditions because they can withstand high temperatures, harsh chemical environments, and corrosion. Here, we report the development of highly porous, ultralightweight, and flexible aerogel composites made by the infiltration of various polymers into 2D hBN aerogels. The 2D hBN aerogels in which pore size could be controlled were fabricated using a unique self-assembly approach involving polystyrene nanoparticles as templates for ammonia borane into desired structures. We have shown that the physical, mechanical, and thermal properties of hBN-polymer composite aerogels can be tuned by the infiltration of different additives. We also performed theoretical calculations to gain insight into the interfacial interactions between the hBN-polymer structure, as the interface is critical in determining key material properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13620-13628
Number of pages9
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 24 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


  • aerogels
  • energy dissipation
  • fire resistant
  • interface engineering
  • multifunctional composites


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