Silicon–carbon nanoceramics have been synthesised from hexamethyldisilane (HMDS) by the atmospheric pressure chemical vapour synthesis (APCVS). Direct aerosol phase synthesis enables continuous production of high purity materials in one-stage process. The particle formation is based on the decomposition of the precursor in a high temperature reactor. Reaction of the gas phase species leads to homogeneous nucleation and formation of the nanoparticles with a narrow size distribution (geometric mean diameter range of particle number size distribution 160–200 nm with 1.5–1.6 geometric standard deviation at reaction temperatures 800–1200 °C). A systematic investigation of the influence of the process temperature on the powder characteristics, including the particle size, crystallinity, chemical structure, surface and bulk composition and surface morphology, was carried out. At the reactor temperature of 800 °C, the synthesised nanoparticles were amorphous preceramics containing mostly SiC4, Si–CH2–Si and Si–H units. The composition of the powder turned towards nanocrystalline 3C–SiC (crystal size under 2 nm) when the reaction temperature was increased to 1200 °C. The reaction temperature appeared to be a key parameter controlling the structure and properties of the synthesised powders.
- atmospheric pressure chemical vapour synthesis
- chemical characterisation
- silicon-carbon nanoceramics