One-Pot Synthesis and Characterization of Polyrotaxane–Silica Hybrid Aerogel

A novel kind of polyrotaxane–silica hybrid aerogel is successfully prepared via one-pot sol–gel synthesis in this work. The polyrotaxane can chemically interpenetrate with Si particles homogeneously in nanoscale, so as to shorten the gelation time and construct a flexible and mechanically strong skeleton. The supramolecular effect ascribable to the sliding motion of cyclic components in polyrotaxane is introduced into the hybrid aerogel for the first time. Compared with the brittle pure silica aerogel, the obtained polyrotaxane–silica hybrid aerogels show very low density, low thermal conductivity, and more than two orders magnitude improvement in the compression strength without compromising transparency.