MA_BA_ARL_Multifunctional Polymer-Derived Ceramics with Controlled Nanocarbon-Phase

Master Thesis / Bachelor Thesis / Advanced Research Lab-Thesis

Figure 1. SiCN PDC produced by the pyrolysis of a graphene-polysilazane at 1100°C in Ar atmosphere.[5]
Figure 1. SiCN PDC produced by the pyrolysis of a graphene-polysilazane at 1100°C in Ar atmosphere.[5]

Multifunctional Polymer-Derived Ceramics with Controlled Nanocarbon-Phase


Polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs) can be obtained upon pyrolysis of suitable inorganic polymers in inert or reactive atmosphere.[1-3] An important characteristic of PDCs is the strong relationship between the molecular structure and chemistry of the polymers, their processing and the nanostructure and properties of the resulting ceramics.[2] They are nanoscopically heterogeneous and composed of nanodomains. This feature is controlled by the nature and organization of the segregated carbon formed during the polymer-to-ceramic conversion.[2,4,5] Due to their specific features such as tunable electrical, dielectrical, optical and thermal properties, PDCs can act as multifunctional materials performing multiple functions in a system.[1-5]

In the present study, novel SiCN and SiOC will be synthesized by the thermal decomposition of polymer nanocomposites composed of nanocarbons (e.g. single-layer graphene (Figure 1) and SWCNTs, etc) covalently bonded to the polymers in the precursor state.

The prepared carbon-containing PDC nanocomposites will be structurally characterized and their thermal stability against crystallization and decomposition will be analyzed. Furthermore, the novel ceramics will be examined as multifunctional materials and their impact on sustainability will be assessed.


[1] G. Mera, A. Navrotsky, S. Sen, H.-J. Kleebe, R. Riedel, “Polymer-Derived SiCN and SiOC Ceramics – Structure and Energetics at the Nanoscale”, J. Mater. Chem. A 2013, 1, 3826-3836.

[2] P. Colombo, G. Mera, R. Riedel, G. D. Soraru, “Polymer-derived ceramics: 40 years of research and innovation in advanced ceramics” (Feature Article), J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 2010, 93(7), 1805-1837.

[3] G. Mera, M. Gallei, S. Bernard, E. Ionescu, “Ceramic Nanocomposites from Tailor.Made Preceramic Polymers”, Nanomaterials 2015, 5(2), 468-540.

[4] C. Hintze, K. Morita, R. Riedel, E. Ionescu, G. Mera, “Facile sol–gel synthesis of reduced graphene oxide/silica nanocomposites“, J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. 2016, 36(12), 2923–2930.

[5] X. Wang, G. Mera, K. Morita, E. Ionescu, “Synthesis of polymer-derived graphene/silicon nitride-based nanocomposites with tunable dielectric properties“, J. Ceram. Soc. Jp 2016, in print.


Dr. Gabriela Mera