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Abstract

In this study, agar-based nanocomposite films containing ultra-porous silica aerogel particles were fabricated by gel casting using an aqueous agar/silica aerogel slurry. The silica aerogel particles did not show significant agglomeration and were homogeneously distributed in the agar matrix. Transmission electron microscopy observations demonstrated that the silica aerogel particles had a mesoporous microstructure and their pores were not incorporated into the agar polymer molecules. The thermal conductivities of the agar and agar/5 wt.% silica aerogel nanocomposite films were 0.36 and 0.20 W·m–1·K–1, respectively. The transmittance of the agar films did not decrease upon the addition of silica aerogel particles into them. This can be attributed to the anti-reflection effect of silica aerogel particles.
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