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Published July 2015 | Supplemental Material
Journal Article Open

Self-Assembled Recyclable Hierarchical Bucky Aerogels


We describe a simple method for the scalable synthesis of three-dimensional, elastic, and recyclable multi-wall carbon nanotube (MWCNT) based light weight (density <1 g cm^(−3)) bucky-aerogels (BAGs) that are capable of efficiently absorbing non-polar solvents and separating oil-in-water emulsions. Our facile synthesis involves the self-assembly of MWCNTs and carbon fibers into a multi-layered, highly porous, and hierarchical structure that can be easily flexed, compressed, or burnt without any noticeable changes in its structure and absorption capacity. The BAG surface absorbs non-polar solvents efficiently up to ≈20 times its own weight due to its superhydrophobic nature arising from the presence of MWCNTs. Furthermore, BAGs exhibit excellent resilience to impact by recovering more than 70% of the deformation. The energy dissipated by BAGs at 80% compressive strain is in the order of 500 kJ m^(−3), which is nearly 50 times more than the energy dissipated by commercial foams with similar densities.

Additional Information

© 2014 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Received: September 10, 2014; Final Version: October 16, 2014; Published online: November 20, 2014. A.M.R. acknowledges the support from US National Science Foundation grant CMMI-1246800 award for scalable nano-manufacturing. R. P. and A. M. R. thank Clemson University TIGER grant for supporting this work. C.D. and R.T. acknowledge support from the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies under contract W911NF-09-D-0001 with the Army Research Office.

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Supplemental Material - adem201400414-sup-0001-SuppData-S1.pdf


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