We report a novel, facile, and reproducible method for large-scale production of highly porous, hollow silica foams (hollow spheres) with a robust ultrathin shell of several nanometres through a simple, one-step, bubble-controlled, interfacial hydrolysis reaction. This material has exceptional properties, including ultralow density (0.028 g cm−3, approaching 99% porosity), good thermal stability up to 1000 °C, an exceptionally high capacity for oil uptake from mixed solvents (up to 25.6 cm3 g−1), and a very low thermal conductivity comparable to ultralow density silica aerogels.
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