Living Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Sol-Gel Science and Technology

pp 1-25

Date: Latest Version

Aerogels from Preceramic Polymers

  • Gian Domenico SorarùAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento Email author 
  • , Emanuele ZeraAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento
  • , Renzo CampostriniAffiliated withDepartment of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento

Abstract

This chapter deals with a new class of ceramic aerogels derived from polymers. Polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs) represent a new class of ceramic materials obtained through the pyrolysis of preceramic polymers. The PDC route allows forming nanophases of the SiC, SiOC, and SiCN systems with tailored functional properties.

In its essential features, the process leading to the PDC aerogel described in this chapter consists in cross-linking a preceramic polymer in a highly diluted solution, in removing the solvent using supercritical conditions to get the preceramic aerogel, and finally in converting the polymeric aerogel into the ceramic one through a pyrolysis process in controlled atmosphere. The most important synthesis parameters, which control the final aerogel microstructure, will be discussed. Several examples of aerogels belonging to the SiC, SiOC, and SiCN systems will be presented along with potential applications in the field of materials for energy.