Thermal stability of MxOy-doped zirconia aerogels (M = Y, Yb, Gd, Ce, Ca) studied through 1200°C

Nathaniel S. Olson, Frances I. Hurwitz, Jamesa L. Stokes, Haiquan Guo, Richard B. Rogers, Jessica A. Krogstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high porosities and low densities of ceramic aerogels offer outstanding insulative performance in applications where weight is a critical factor. The high surface area-to-volume ratios and specific surface areas provide extremely low thermal conductivity, but also contribute to rapid densification of the pore structure at elevated temperatures. This densification diminishes their favorable properties and inhibits use of aerogels in high-temperature applications. This work contributes to a design framework for thermally stable aerogels via the study of dopant chemistry (Y, Yb, Gd, Ca, Ce) in zirconia aerogels. The structural evolution was studied through 1200°C using nitrogen physisorption, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The role of dopant identity and concentration in thermal stability was elucidated. In the context of the design framework, dopant chemistry is an aggregate for many closely related material properties, each of which may contribute to aerogel structural evolution. To develop a truly predictive design framework for ceramic-based aerogels, systematic and comprehensive evaluation of thermodynamic and kinetic properties must be performed in conjunction with studies on structural evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7745-7759
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • aerogel
  • porous ceramics
  • thermal management
  • zirconia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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