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Livermore Lab’s Ultralight Conductive Silver Aerogels

Dept. of Energy

Laboratory: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

Technology: ultralight conductive silver aerogels

Opportunity: This LLNL technology is awaiting patent status, but is available for collaboration with interested parties.

Details: LLNL researchers have developed a new method of using silver nanowires to fabricate ultralight conductive silver aerogel monoliths with predicable densities and excellent properties. Silver nanowire building blocks were prepared by polyol synthesis and purified by selective precipitation. Silver aerogels were produced by freeze-casting nanowire aqueous suspensions followed by thermal sintering to weld the nanowire junctions. As-prepared, silver aerogels have unique anisotropic microporous structures with density precisely controlled by the nanowire concentration down to 4.8 mg/cm3 and electrical conductivity up to 51,000 S/m. Mechanical studies show silver nanowire (AgNW) aerogels exhibit "elastic stiffening" behavior with Young's modulus up to 16,800 Pa.

Benefits: The new LLNL-developed method allows fabricating ultralight AgNW aerogels with predicable densities, pore structures, electrical conductivity and mechanical properties. Using this method, LLNL produced high-performance Ag foams with an ultra-low density down to 4.8 mg/cm3, a high electrical conductivity up to 51,000 S/m, and a high Young's modulus of 16,800 Pa.

Applications: This technology may be useful for electronics, energy storage, catalytic supports, fuel cells, sensing and medical materials.

Contact: For more information on this LLNL technology, contact

To view the original technology listing on the LLNL website, visit

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