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Conductive and compressible carbon aerogels are useful in a variety of applications. In recent decades, carbon aerogels have been widely explored by using graphitic carbons and soft carbons, which show advantages in superelasticity. These elastic aerogels usually have delicate microstructures with good fatigue resistance but ultralow strength. Hard carbons demonstrate great advantages in mechanical strength and structural stability due to the sp3 C-induced turbostratic "house-of-cards" structure. However, stiffness and fragility clearly get in the way of achieving superelasticity with hard carbons. Up to now, it has been a challenge to fabricate superelastic hard carbon-based aerogels.
Recently, inspired by the flexibility and rigidity of natural spider silks, a research team led by Shu-Hong Yu from the University of Science and Technology of China developed...
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