|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
Hello, I do not know a lot about SEAgel, so I looked up the following: SEAgel (Safe Emulsion Agar gel), a very low-density, organic-based foam, is a natural material made from agar - a component of red algae that is used to thicken ice cream and other foods. SEAgel is made by dissolving agar in water and adding an organic solvent and emulsifier that disperse the agar evenly throughout the liquid. Then the mixture is freeze-dried to extract the water and solvents. SEAgel can be made with densities from 1 to 300 mg/cm 3 and with cell sizes from to 2 to 3 Ám. Laboratory scientists are using SEAgel as targets for x-ray laser experiments on Nova because it can be doped with other materials, such as selenium. If we can fabricate an x-ray laser target with a density that is less than the critical density of laser light (4 x 10^21 electrons/cm 3 for 0.53-Ám light), we can eliminate the violent hydrodynamics that take place when a solid-density target explodes before it reaches the density required for lasing. Using SEAgel will help us achieve a more uniform plasma, which will improve the quality of the x-ray laser beam. Because SEAgel is safe enough to eat, it could be used as food packaging or as encapsulating material for timed-release medication. SEAgel could also be used instead of balsa wood to insulate supertankers and to provide sound damping in high-speed trains. I suspect it is fabricated using the same methods for making aerogel, see this reference: http://eande.lbl.gov/ECS/aerogels/satoc.htm hope this answer is of any use, Remy van Gorkum.
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