Today significant efforts are underway to further mechanically strong aerogels, aerogels of new compositions for sensors and energy production, and to apply aerogels for use as hydrogen storage media. Metal aerogels are just around the corner. More advanced supercapacitors that rival today’s batteries are becoming likely. Hydrogen production using cleverly-engineered semiconductor aerogels will change the way we think about energy and fuel. Smart materials made possible by the unique combinations of materials properties exhibited by aerogels will enhance and impact our daily lives.
Dr. Debra Rolison at the Naval Research Laboratory calls aerogel “the original nanotech”. But aerogels have come a long way since the days of Kistler, and there are endless possible applications of aerogel materials.