Pseudomorphic Conversion of Cellulose-based Paper to C/SiFeN Ceramic Paper – A Case Study
In the present study, a C/SiFeN(O) ceramic paper with in situ generated hierarchical micro/nano-morphology was prepared upon thermal treatment of a cellulose-based paper, previously surface-modified with a polymeric single-source precursor. The precursor consists of perhydropolysilazane (PHPS) and iron(III) acetylacetonate (Fe(acac)3). Ammonolysis at 1000 °C of the paper/precursor hybrid materials leads to a C/SiFeN(O)-based ceramic paper which exhibits the same morphology as that of the cellulose paper. Extensive investigation of the ceramization behavior of the paper/precursor material into ceramic paper was performed by means of various vibration spectroscopies, electron microscopies as well as X-ray diffraction. Subsequent annealing of the as-received ceramic paper in nitrogen atmosphere at temperatures from 1300 to 1400 °C results in the generation of ultra-long silicon nitride nanowires in the macropores of the ceramic paper. The nanowires exhibit round Fe3Si tips at the end, indicating that the growth occurred via iron-catalyzed VLS (vapor-liquid-solid) mechanism. The combination of single-source precursor, porous template and in situ VLS growth of 1D nanostructures provides a convenient one-pot synthesis approach to produce ceramic nanocomposites with hierarchical morphologies.