Silica, or silicon dioxide, is the same material used to make glass. Silica is a poor conductor of both electrons and heat. Because air has very low thermal conductivity and silica has low thermal conductivity, they are great materials to use in insulators. These properties make nano aerogels one of the best thermal insulators.
Researchers are developing drug delivery methods where therapeutic molecules stored inside the pores are slowly released in a diseased region of the body, such as near a cancer tumour.
- As an additive for rubber and plastics
- As a strengthening filler for concrete and other construction composites
- As a stable, non-toxic platform for biomedical applications such as drug delivery and theranostics.