Hollow Silica Nanospheres as a Possible Pathway towards Thermal Super Insulation Materials
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The world community is shifting its focus towards energy-efficiency, material scarcity versus abundancy, and renewable and non-polluting energy sources, with an ever increasing awareness that we need to pursue sustainable solutions before it may be too late with respect to man-made climate changes and severe negative environmental impact. Thus, a lot of pathways are being pursued in order to achieve these sustainable solutions within a foreseeable future. A part of this solution is energy-efficiency within several fields, among them minimizing the thermal transport through a building envelope from a warm interior to a cold exterior (heating demand) and from a warm exterior to a cold/cool interior (cooling demand), thereby reducing the need for using energy for heating and cooling. Often there will be a desire to have relative thin building envelopes, e.g. due to various constraints and building techniques, which may be relatively hard to accomplish with traditional thermal insulation materials. Hence, there is a quest to make a thermal insulation material with as low thermal conductivity as possible. Currently, utilizing the Knudsen effect, we are attempting to achieve thermal super insulation materials (SIM) through manufacturing nano insulation materials (NIM) by synthesizing hollow silica nanospheres (HSNS) through a sacrificial template method, where the inner sphere diameter and shell thickness among others are being varied through an experimental parameter optimization. In this study we are presenting our latest experimental laboratory results with the hollow silica nanospheres.