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Template Routes to Non-Oxide Ceramic Nano- and Micro-Structures

  • Upal Kusari (a1), Zhihao Bao (a2), Cai Ye (a3), Gul Ahmad (a4), Kenneth H Sandhage (a5) and Larry G Sneddon (a6)...

Abstract

Non-oxide ceramic materials like boron carbide and silicon carbide are technologically relevant as advanced high temperature materials, while boron nitride is a thermally robust low-k insulating material with electronic applications. Efficient routes to boron carbide, boron nitride, and silicon carbide ceramic nanostructures have been developed which employ molecular and polymeric precursors, including the boron carbide precursor 6, 6'-bis(decaboranyl)hexane, the boron nitride precursor polyborazylene, and a commercially available silicon carbide precursor allylhydridopolycarbosilane(AHPCS), in conjunction with colloidal silica and biological silica “diatom” templates. Layered submicron-sized ordered void structures with three-dimensional periodicity and tunable length scales were fabricated by the melt infiltration of the precursors into ordered colloidal silica bead templates. Pyrolytic ceramic conversion followed by dissolution of the silica beads by chemical treatment with aqueous HF or NaOH generated highly uniform ceramic structures with thicknesses up to 50μm and ordered voids ranging in diameter from 50-150 nm. Following on earlier work by Sandhage who generated polymer and oxide ceramic structures, vacuum filtration of the ceramic precursor solutions through bioclastic silica diatom frustule templates generated polymer coated replicas of their 3-D micro- and nanostructures. Subsequent pyrolysis and dissolution of the frustules in 48% HF yielded free-standing ceramic structures with fine features on length scales of 60-200 nm. This technique therefore provides a large scale route to nano- and micro structured non-oxide ceramic materials. Structural control of the end products was achieved by changing the concentration of the precursor solution, pore size and/or the frustule template. Characterization by XRD, DRIFT, SEM, TEM and possible uses of these uniform nano- and micro-structured ceramics will be discussed.

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Keywords

Template Routes to Non-Oxide Ceramic Nano- and Micro-Structures

  • Upal Kusari (a1), Zhihao Bao (a2), Cai Ye (a3), Gul Ahmad (a4), Kenneth H Sandhage (a5) and Larry G Sneddon (a6)...

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