Gelest, Inc. offers a wide range of metal alkoxides for use in sol-gel applications.
Sol-gel is a method for preparing specialty metal oxide glasses and ceramics by hydrolyzing a chemical precursor or mixture of precursors that pass sequentially through a solution state and a gel state before being dehydrated to a glass or ceramic.
Sol-Gel Process Technology and Chemistry (illustrated overleaf) Preparation of metal oxides using sol-gel routes proceeds by three basic steps:
- partial hydrolysis of metal alkoxides to form reactive monomers,
- condensation of these monomers to form colloid-like oligomers (sol formation),
- additional hydrolysis to promote polymerization and cross-linking leading to a three-dimensional matrix (gel formation).
Sol-gel technology can be used to prepare fibers, microspheres, thin films, fine powders and monoliths. Applications for sol-gel technology include protective coatings, catalysts, piezoelectric devices, wave-guides, lenses, high-strength ceramics, superconductors, synthesis of nanoparticles and insulating materials. The flexibility of sol-gel technology allows unique access to multi-component oxide systems and low temperature process regimens. Listed below are some popular examples of sol-gel precursors, and Gelest, Inc. offers hundreds of other alkoxide derivatives for metals of interest.