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Open Access Polymer-Derived Non-Oxide Ceramic Fibers—Past, Present and Future

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Polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs) are a class of multifunctional ceramics synthesized by the thermal decomposition of polymeric precursors. The direct polymer-to-ceramic processing route makes the materials very suitable for the fabrication of complex shaped components and devices through hybrid processing/shaping technologies. Such process has led to significant technology breakthrough in ceramics including the development of ceramic fibers, coatings and thermal stable ceramics. Non-oxide ceramic fibers have been widely used as the skeletal structures in ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) for high temperature applications where the metallic materials suffer serious corrosion and mechanical property deterioration. Fabricating non-oxide ceramic fibers from polymer precursors offers excellent control of the mechanical and chemical properties of the ceramic fibers by manipulating the composition and physical properties of the polymer precursors. A series of high performance ceramic fibers with diameter from nanometers to micrometers have been produced through such polymer-derived ceramic fiber process. Well-designed synthesis of the precursors, materials processing and characterization play the key role in producing ceramic fibers with desired properties. The incorporation of functional materials including carbon nanotubes and polymers into the preceramic polymers can introduce difference functionalities and generate interesting nanosize structures to the ceramic fibers, providing new applications such as catalyzing and energy storage devices. This review highlights the synthesis of polymer precursors and the development of non-oxide ceramic fibers from different polymer precursors through melt-spinning and electrospinning, presents recent progress in fabricating ceramic fibers with nanosize structures, and discusses the advantage, challenge and future direction of the research in this field.


Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: 2011-03-01

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  • Materials Express is a peer-reviewed multidisciplinary journal reporting emerging researches on materials science, engineering, technology and biology. Cutting-edge researches on the synthesis, characterization, properties, and applications of a very wide range of materials are covered for broad readership; from physical sciences to life sciences. In particular, the journal aims to report advanced materials with interesting electronic, magnetic, optical, mechanical and catalytic properties for industrial applications.
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