Aerographite material is ‘world’s lightest’

New aerographite material is ‘world’s lightest’
The world's lightest solid material has been touted by a team from the Technical University of Hamburg and the University of Kiel in Germany.

Composed of 99.99% air, aerographite has an ultra low density of just 0.2 mg/cm³ and is said to demonstrate extraordinary electrical properties.

Researchers Professor Karl Schulte and Matthew Mecklenburg created it from a network of hollow carbon tubes grown at the nano and micro scales.

As the picture above shows, the new super material is mostly made up of empty space, although the researchers say that it resembles a black and optically-opaque sponge in appearance.

According to Prof Schulte, aerographite's sparse nature means it can be compressed by a factor of a thousand, with the ability to then spring back to its original size. The material is also capable of supporting 35 times more weight than the same mass of aerogel.

Because it is electrically conductive and chemical-resistant, the researchers believe it could potentially find its way into devices such as batteries.The findings have been published in the journal Advanced Materials.

Laura Hopperton

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