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Polymer derived ceramics

Polymer derived ceramics, referred to commonly as PDCs, Is a term for ceramic materials formed by the pyrolysis of preceramic polymers, usually under inert atmosphere. The compositions of PDCs most commonly include silicon carbide (SiC), silicon oxycarbide (SiOxCy), silicon nitride(Si3N4), silicon carbonitride (Si3+xN4Cx+y) [1] and silicon oxynitride (SiOxNy).[2] The composition, phase distribution and structure of PDCs depend on the polymer precursor compounds used and the pyrolysis conditions applied. The key advantage of this type of ceramic material is the versatility afforded by the use of polymeric precursors in terms of processing and shaping. Polymer derived ceramics can be additively manufactured (3D printed) in stereolithography based techniques, through photopolymerization of preceramic polymers.[3] Such processing of PDCs has drawn attention towards applications requiring thermally and chemically stable materials in complex forms that are challenging to achieve through more conventional ceramic processing routes, such as powder sintering and slip casting. PDCs are further valuable towards the synthesis of porous and mesoporous materials [4] and thin films.[5]