To study the effect of nanostructured silica aerogel as a soil moisture absorbent on yield and water use efficiency of corn and comparison with superabsorbent, a field experiment was carried out in factorial split plot arrangement using randomized complete block design with four replications at Research Farm of Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran, in 2013-2014 growing year. Material and
Deficit irrigation with three levels including irrigation with 100, 75 and 50 percent crop water requirement that were located in the main plots and moisture absorbent materials with three levels including non-use absorbent material, used of superabsorbent (30 kg/ha) and used of silica aerogel (5 kg/ha) that were located in the sub plots.
The results showed that the highest grain yield (12684 kg/ha) was achieved in condition of irrigation with 100% crop water requirement and used of silica aerogel. The sue of superabsorbent and silica aerogel increased grain yield. While in condition of irrigation with 100% crop water requirement silica aerogel consumption as compared to superabsorbent to increase grain yield was a significant advantage, but in condition of irrigation with 75 and 50% crop water requirement silica aerogel and superabsorbent were in a statistical group. The use of superabsorbent and silica aerogel increased water use efficiency for grain yield (116.2 and 154.1 percent, respectively) and water use efficiency for biologic yield (38.4 and 85.9 percent, respectively) as compared with non-use.
Therefore, application of nanostructured silica aerogel is recommended for increasing of yield and water use efficiency of corn