Here we present an economical ambient pressure drying method of preparing monolithic silica aerogels from methyltrimethoxysilane precursor while using sodium bicarbonate solution as the exchanging solvent. We prepared silica aerogels with a density and a specific surface area of 0.053 g·cm−3 and 423 m2·g−1, respectively. The average pore diameter of silica aerogels is 23 nm as the pore specific volume is 1.11 cm3·g−1. Further, the contact angle between water droplet and the surface of silica aerogels in specific condition can be as high as 166°, which indicates a super-hydrophobic surface of aerogels.
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- ambient pressure drying
- silica aerogel
- sodium bicarbonate
- solvent exchange