Aerographite – the lightest material in the world – 5000 times less dense than water and six times lighter than air


New lightest material developed by German scientists from Keil University and The Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) is named Aerographite. It is jet-black, remains stable, is electrically conductive, ductile and non-transparent. It is composed of a network of porous carbon tubes that are three-dimensionally interwoven at nano and micro level and it only weighs 0.2 milligrams per cubic centimetre. According to Matthias Mecklenburg, co-author and Ph.D. student at the TUHH, aerographite weights four times less than world-record-holder up to now (Last year, researchers at the University of California Irvine developed a material that was as strong as metal yet 100 times lighter than Styrofoam).”

Aerographite is the lightest material in the world, 5,000 times less dense than water, and six times lighter than air.

Scientists described the aerographite as an ivy-web, which winds itself around a tree. And then take away the tree.” The “trees” in this case are zinc oxide crystals, which are shaped like four-sided jacks/knucklebones. The crystals are then placed in an oven and coated with a layer of carbon using chemical vapor deposition (CVD). At the same time, hydrogen gas is added to the oven, which steals the oxygen away from the zinc oxide. The zinc falls to the floor of the oven, leaving just the outer skeleton of carbon — aerographite.

Made by developing a linked chain of carbon nanotubes onto a zinc-oxide template, it is extremely resilient. If you were to compress Aerographite, it would bounce back to its natural state without any damage. Most other materials weaken when they undergo such stress. Because of its characteristics, it can widely be utilized for the future development of electronics, such as in lightweight batteries. Scientists believe these small batteries could be used in green transportation such as electronic cars and e-bikes in the future. Other potential applications include in aviation and satellites, thanks to its high tolerance for vibration, and for use in water and air purification. The number of further possible areas of application for the lightest material in the world is limitless.

“It is able to be compressed up to 95% and be pulled back to its original form without any damage. Up to a certain point, the aerographite will become even more solid and therefore stronger than beforeIn contrast to other materials, it thereby just becomes stiffer (Diameter nine millimetres). Also, the newly constructed material absorbs light rays almost completely. Watch Aerographite being compressed.


The very small masses of the Aerographite allow quick changes of direction. It raises itself in an erect position, jumps onto the plastic pole and back onto the table: In that way Aerographite gets electric charge from the pole and emits it to the table.


Aerographite electrodes have been tested in an electric double-layer capacitor (EDLC, also known as supercapacitor) and endured the mechanical shocks related to loading-unloading cycles and crystallization of the electrolyte (that occurs upon evaporation of the solvent). Their power capacity of 1.25 Wh/kg is comparable to that of carbon nanotube electrodes (~2.3 Wh/kg).

Sources: University of

Featured image: University of Kiel

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.


Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:

Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.


  1. Since this is lighter than air why is it not floating?

    I understand that it is more than 99.999% air but nonetheless the average density is less than air which should give it negative buoyancy in air.

    A friend speculated that as an almost perfect black body it might be radiating away heat and therefore the air inside would be cooler, and therefore denser, than the surrounding air.

  2. Aerographite can be used in many things, but aerographite will be more or less graphite on steroids e.g., cathodic material, carbon fiber, friction, lubricants, carbon composites etc.

    I’m barely getting over aerogel and now we have a new composite and application to ponder? I can’t wait to see what new products that are in the making from aerographite

    Read about Aerogel here:

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *