Synthesis, characterization and mechanism of formation of carbon aerogels incorporated with highly crystalline lanthanum oxychloride particles
Low-density monolithic carbon aerogels incorporated with highly crystalline lanthanum oxychloride (LaOCl) particles were successfully synthesized using a novel facile sol–gel method. The LaOCl-doped carbon aerogels were experimentally determined to be inorganic porous materials with a density of ∼260 mg cm−3, specific surface area of 465 m2 g−1, and average pore diameter of 28 nm. The embedded LaOCl particles were highly crystalline, having formed a tetragonal phase structure, and constituted up to 28.58% of the mass of the carbon aerogel. A sol–gel mechanism was proposed for the formation of the aerogel and included the acidity of a an aqueous lanthanum chloride solution and ring opening of propylene oxide as two key factors promoting the formation of wet La-doped resorcinol-formaldehyde gels and highly crystalline LaOCl particles.