A team from the Technical University of Hamburg and Germany’s University of Kiel has developed a new material composed of 0.01% carbon structures by volume. The remaining structure is air. The material, dubbed aerographite, has a density of less than 0.2 mg/cm 3. The next lightest material, metallic microlattice, has a density of 0.9 mg/cm 3.
Aerographite consists of hollow carbon nanotubes grown into each other to create a network. It can be compressed by a factor of a thousand and still spring back to its original size. The new material is created using a one-step process and zinc oxide templates which lets blocks of the material grow in various shapes and sizes. The carbon is electrically conductive and chemical-resistant, which could yield applications in batteries and electronics.
More information: Technical University of Hamburg