Soaking up s'more: Marshmallow-like flexible gels synthesized from organoalkoxysilanes by a facile process show superior oil/water separation properties. The gels are superhydrophobic and can be used to remove organic compounds from water through absorption; they can then be recovered by squeezing them out of the gel, as if it were a sponge. The gel retains flexibility over a wide temperature range, even in liquid nitrogen (see photo).
- environmental chemistry
- hydrophobic effect
- organic-inorganic hybrid composites
- sol-gel processes
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