What are Polymer-derived Ceramics?

These are high temperature silicon-based covalent ceramics obtained from thermal decomposition (or pyrolysis) of certain organo-silicon polymers. These ceramics are known for their nano-domain structure that remains amorphous up to very high temperatures (>1200 degree C).

Research Objective

The research focus on developing the next generation multi-component PDC fibers of carefully selected compositions within the Si/C/N/O systems through systematic understanding of structure-property- processing correlations, leading to superior properties.

Educational Objective

(i) Enhance undergraduate and graduate student research experience, (ii) Integrate polymer-derived ceramic research into education, (iii) Enhance knowledge generation and quality of graduate programs, and (iv) Broaden communication with materials science and ceramics communities.


NSF-PIRE High Temperature Ceramic Fibers is a five-year research project funded by the National Science Foundation under grant # 1743701

PIRE: High Temperature Ceramic Fibers: Polymer-Based Manufacturing, Nanostructure, and Performance

Currently, commercially available non-oxide ceramic fibers, which can be used in CMC components for hot sections of gas turbines, are constituted from SiC (developed in the 1970s) and are available only from Japan. Basic (and applied) research on next generation multi-component polymer-derived ceramic fibers at Universities is conducted nearly entirely in Japan and Europe. There is little research activity at US universities. The PIRE team is concerned that US university research is not keeping pace with fundamental research on non-oxide ceramic fibers elsewhere in the world. We face a shortage of graduate students trained in this area at American Universities, who have strong links with their international counterparts. Therefore, we use PIRE to develop an essential, mutually beneficial international consortium for ceramic fiber research that builds upon the on-going activities in Japan and Europe. International partners will benefit from US expertise in materials science of multi-component PDC systems while non- US partners bring experience in chemistry and processing knowledge to the program.