In this study, we synthesised silica aerogel composites using SiO
nanoparticles and studied the effects of surface modification of silica nanoparticles on the properties of silica aerogel composites. The surface condition of the silica nanoparticles was controlled to be either hydrophobic or hydrophilic. Accordingly, the effect of the surface chemical state of silica nanoparticles on the network structure of hybridised silica aerogels and finally on their mechanical properties could be investigated. The microstructural and mechanical properties of silica aerogels were strongly dependent on the nature of the surface of hybridised silica nanoparticles.
Keywords: SiO 2, sol-gel processes, composites, nanoparticles, surface modification reaction