Aerografite: the material world’s lightest

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Long ago, a material known as airgel was very famous . Light as air and strong as steel , the invention won by a sort of “cousin”, because of its oddity: the ferrofluid . Now, a new member joins this class very odd. Known as aerografite, this material becomes so light that is made almost entirely of air.


Created by researchers at the University of Hamburg and Kiel University, both in Germany, has aerografite density of 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimeter, and is built by network of carbon nanotubes. Although this looks more fragile, the new material has properties very impressive. For starters, it can be compressed to the point of being about a thousand times smaller, returning to its original size when released.

But the resistance of aerografite is the feature that draws the most attention. Despite the low density, it is about 35 times more resistant than the airgel and can withstand approximately 40 000 times its own weight. Among the possible applications of the new material is a new generation of batteries for electronic devices requiring electrical conductors ever more compact and lightweight.

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