During my professional career, I developed a strong interest in sol-gel technology, and worked on both xerogel and aerogel systems. My fascination with aerogels has driven me to explore their commercial potential, which is currently an important component of my company's business plan. Together with my co-workers, I have also worked on the preparation of controlled PZT and silica xerogels as well as thin film coatings of metals by the sol-gel technology, These experiences convinced me of the tremendous potentials of this technology. A conviction that is shared by many scientists, engineers, and business leaders around the globe. Many sol-gel derived products are already articles of commerce. However, to expand the commercial potential of sol-gel technology, two challenges must be met: (1) the quality of sol-gel derived products must continue to meet or exceed the quality of competing products, (2) the production cost of sol-gel products (specially aerogels) must continued to decline. A key to lowering the costs of sol-gel products is finding inexpensive precursors.
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