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Nanoflake-Engineered Zirconic Fibrous Aerogels with Parallel-Arrayed Conduits for Fast Nerve Agent Degradation

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posted on 2021-10-07, 15:05 authored by Yalong Liao, Fengjin Yang, Yang Si, Jianyong Yu, Bin Ding
Chemical warfare agents (CWAs) pose huge threats to ecological environments, agriculture, and human health due to the turbulent international situation in contemporary society. Zirconium hydroxide (Zr­(OH)4) has captured the prime focus as an effective candidate for CWA decomposition but is often hindered by the isolated powder form. Here, we demonstrate a scalable three-dimensional space-confined synthetic strategy to fabricate nanoflake-engineered zirconic fibrous aerogels (NZFAs). Our strategy enables the stereoscopic Zr­(OH)4 nanoflakes vertically and evenly in situ grown on the interconnected fibrous framework, remarkably enlarging the surface area and providing rich active sites for CWA catalysis. The as-synthesized NZFAs exhibit intriguing properties of ultralow density (>0.37 mg cm–3), shape-memory behavior under 90% strain, and robust fatigue resistance over 106 compression cycles at 40% strain. Meanwhile, the high air permeability, prominent adsorptivity, and reusability make them state-of-the-art chemical protective materials. This work may provide an avenue for developing next-generation aerogel-based catalysts and beyond.

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