Thomas M. Tillotson - Tracy CA, US
Randall L. Simpson - Livermore CA, US
Lawrence W. Hrubesh - Pleasanton CA, US
Alexander Gash - Livermore CA, US
The Regents of the University of California - Oakland CA
A synthetic route for producing nanostructure metal-oxide-based materials using sol-gel processing. This procedure employs the use of stable and inexpensive hydrated-metal inorganic salts and environmentally friendly solvents such as water and ethanol. The synthesis involves the dissolution of the metal salt in a solvent followed by the addition of a proton scavenger, which induces gel formation in a timely manner. Both critical point (supercritical extraction) and atmospheric (low temperature evaporation) drying may be employed to produce monolithic aerogels and xerogels, respectively. Using this method synthesis of metal-oxide nanostructured materials have been carried out using inorganic salts, such as of Fe, Cr, Al, Ga, In, Hf, Sn, Zr, Nb, W, Pr, Er, Nd, Ce, U and Y. The process is general and nanostructured metal-oxides from the following elements of the periodic table can be made: Groups 2 through 13, part of Group 14 (germanium, tin, lead), part of Group 15 (antimony, bismuth), part of Group 16 (polonium), and the lanthanides and actinides. The sol-gel processing allows for the addition of insoluble materials (e. g.