About this series
Ceramics, glasses, composites and hybrid materials, in one form or another, are being processed by sol-gel methods with positive outcomes. The advantages commonly cited for these methods include the purity of raw materials, the low temperature for processing, the molecular level mixing of components and the simplicity of processing equipment. Moreover, the advantages go far beyond these attributes in applications such as nanocomposites, encapsulating media, microporous membranes and graded optics.
The sol-gel process is broadly defined in this series. As such, the process encompasses solution routes to oxide and non-oxide ceramics, silicate glasses and fluoride glasses, organic-inorganic hybrids, nanocrystalline metal-containing or semiconductor-containing materials, and biomolecule-containing materials. Hydrolytic and non-hydrolytic sol-gel processes fall within the definition, along with aqueous dispersions and dissolved salt solutions. In some cases, materials are processed in bulk by a sol-gel process, and in other cases, materials are processed by traditional methods with a modification introduced by a sol-gel process. A clear commercial success for sol-gel processing is the variety of thin films available for surface modification and enhancement.
Several subclasses of sol-gel processing exist, notably aerogels and hybrid gels. Processing and composition are used in these cases to classify the materials. In other cases, sol-gel processingcan be organized by function, along the lines of sol-gel processed electronic materials, structural materials or optical materials. It is the process that is, in fact, the common thread among all these applications.
The focus of this series is precisely the processing aspects. By extension, when sol-gel processing is shown to be appropriate for fabricating a specific device or satisfying a particular application, the astute reader is bound to find more uses for sol-gel processing in related devices and applications.
In summary, the design of this series is to encourage the incorporation of sol-gel processing into previously unexplored applications.
The Series: SOL-GEL PROCESSING: Technology and Applications
will address the following goals:
Establish the technological basis for sol-gel processing
Present the latest understanding of the physics and chemistry of sol-gel processing
Cover applications in areas such as:
Materials of construction/insulation
Targeted Professional Groups: