New composite materials were prepared by using aerogel as a matrix for gas phase decomposition. Various gases were infiltrated into the open pore aerogel structure which were subsequently decomposed thermally by the catalytic action of the aerogel. Composites of silica aerogel with carbon, silicon, iron, and iron oxides were prepared. The method is applicable to a wide range of new composite materials. Materials produced this way contain nanometer-sized deposits that can give rise to size induced quantum effects.
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Hunt, A.J., Cao, W. New Routes to Nanocomposite Materials. MRS Online Proceedings Library 346, 451–455 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-346-451