Ultralow density polymers, metals, and ceramic nanofoams are valued for their high strength-to-weight ratio, high surface area, and insulating properties ascribed to their structural geometry. We obtain the labrynthine internal structure of a tantalum oxide nanofoam by x-ray diffractive imaging. Finite-element analysis from the structure reveals mechanical properties consistent with bulk samples and with a diffusion-limited cluster aggregation model, while excess mass on the nodes discounts the dangling fragments hypothesis of percolation theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)