Role of in-situ formed free carbon on electromagnetic absorption properties of polymer-derived SiC ceramics

We’re sorry, something doesn't seem to be working properly.

Please try refreshing the page. If that doesn't work, please contact support so we can address the problem.


In order to enhance dielectric properties of polymer-derived SiC ceramics, a novel single-source-precursor was synthesized by the reaction of an allylhydrido polycarbosilane (AHPCS) and divinyl benzene (DVB) to form carbon-rich SiC. As expected, the free carbon contents of resultant SiC ceramics annealed at 1600 °C are significantly enhanced from 6.62 wt% to 44.67 wt%. After annealing at 900–1600 °C, the obtained carbon-rich SiC ceramics undergo phase separation from amorphous to crystalline feature where superfine SiC nanocrystals and turbostratic carbon networks are dispersed in an amorphous SiC(O) matrix. The dielectric properties and electromagnetic (EM) absorption performance of as-synthesized carbon-rich SiC ceramics are significantly improved by increasing the structural order and content of free carbon. For the 1600 °C ceramics mixed with paraffin wax, the minimum reflection coefficient (RCmin) reaches –56.8 dB at 15.2 GHz with the thickness of 1.51 mm and a relatively broad effective bandwidth (the bandwidth of RC values lower than –10 dB) of 4.43 GHz, indicating the excellent EM absorption performance. The carbon-rich SiC ceramics have to be considered as harsh environmental EM absorbers with excellent chemical stability, high temperature, and oxidation and corrosion resistance.


  1. [1]

    Ye XL, Chen ZF, Ai SF, et al. Porous SiC/melamine-derived carbon foam frameworks with excellent electromagnetic wave absorbing capacity. J Adv Ceram 2019, 8: 479–488.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    Li XL, Yin XW, Han MK, et al. Ti3C2MXenes modified with in situ grown carbon nanotubes for enhanced electromagnetic wave absorption properties. J Mater Chem C 2017, 5: 4068–4074.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. [3]

    Han MK, Yin XW, Li XL, et al. Laminated and two-dimensional carbon-supported microwave absorbers derived from MXenes. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2017, 9: 20038–20045.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    Xu HL, Yin XW, Zhu M, et al. Carbon hollow microspheres with a designable mesoporous shell for high-performance electromagnetic wave absorption. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2017, 9: 6332–6341.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    Li XL, Yin XW, Xu HL, et al. Ultralight MXene-coated, interconnected SiCnws three-dimensional lamellar foams for efficient microwave absorption in the X-band. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2018, 10: 34524–34533.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. [6]

    Kong L, Wang C, Yin XW, et al. Electromagnetic wave absorption properties of a carbon nanotube modified by a tetrapyridinoporphyrazine interface layer. J Mater Chem C 2017, 5: 7479–7488.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. [7]

    Li XL, Yin XW, Han MK, et al. A controllable heterogeneous structure and electromagnetic wave absorption properties of Ti2CTxMXene. J Mater Chem C 2017, 5: 7621–7628.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    Yin XW, Kong L, Zhang LT, et al. Electromagnetic properties of Si-C-N based ceramics and composites. Int Mater Rev 2014, 59: 326–355.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. [9]

    Duan WY, Yin XW, Li Q, et al. A review of absorption properties in silicon-based polymer derived ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2016, 36: 3681–3689.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. [10]

    Li Q, Yin XW, Duan WY, et al. Electrical, dielectric and microwave-absorption properties of polymer derived SiC ceramics in X band. J Alloys Compd 2013, 565: 66–72.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. [11]

    Duan WY, Yin XW, Li Q, et al. Synthesis and microwave absorption properties of SiC nanowires reinforced SiOC ceramic. J Eur Ceram Soc 2014, 34: 257–266.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. [12]

    Li Q, Yin XW, Feng LY. Dielectric properties of Si3N4-SiCN composite ceramics in X-band. Ceram Int 2012, 38: 6015–6020.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. [13]

    Ye F, Zhang LT, Yin XW, et al. Dielectric and EMW absorbing properties of PDCs-SiBCN annealed at different temperatures. J Eur Ceram Soc 2013, 33: 1469–1477.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. [14]

    Duan WY, Yin XW, Ye F, et al. Synthesis and EMW absorbing properties of nano SiC modified PDC-SiOC. J Mater Chem C 2016, 4: 5962–5969.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. [15]

    Ding DH, Zhou WC, Zhou X, et al. Influence of pyrolysis temperature on structure and dielectric properties of polycarbosilane derived silicon carbide ceramic. Trans Nonferrous Met Soc China 2012, 22: 2726–2729.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. [16]

    Ye F, Zhang LT, Yin XW, et al. Dielectric and microwaveabsorption properties of SiC nanoparticle/SiBCN composite ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2014, 34: 205–215.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. [17]

    Ye F, Zhang LT, Yin XW, et al. Dielectric and EMW absorbing properties of PDCs-SiBCN annealed at different temperatures. J Eur Ceram Soc 2013, 33: 1469–1477.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. [18]

    Liu XM, Xu HL, Xie FT, et al. Light-weight and highly flexible TaC modified PyC fiber fabrics derived from cotton fiber textile with excellent electromagnetic shielding effectiveness. Chem Eng J 2020, 387: 124085.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. [19]

    Fan XM, Yuan RZ, Li X, et al. RGO-supported core-shell SiO2@SiO2/carbon microsphere with adjustable microwave absorption properties. Ceram Int 2020, 46: 14985–14993.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. [20]

    Ren FY, Yin XW, Mo R, et al. Hierarchical carbon nanowires network modified PDCs-SiCN with improved microwave absorption performance. Ceram Int 2019, 45: 14238–14248.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. [21]

    Zhang YJ, Yin XW, Ye F, et al. Effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes on the crystallization behavior of PDCs-SiBCN and their improved dielectric and EM absorbing properties. J Eur Ceram Soc 2014, 34: 1053–1061.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. [22]

    Liu XM, Yu ZJ, Ishikawa R, et al. Single-source-precursor synthesis and electromagnetic properties of novel RGO-SiCN ceramic nanocomposites. J Mater Chem C 2017, 5: 7950–7960.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. [23]

    Liu XM, Yu ZJ, Chen LQ, et al. Role of single-sourceprecursor structure on microstructure and electromagnetic properties of CNTs-SiCN nanocomposites. J Am Ceram Soc 2017, 100: 4649–4660.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. [24]

    Luo CJ, Jiao T, Gu JW, et al. Graphene shield by SiBCN ceramic: A promising high-temperature electromagnetic wave-absorbing material with oxidation resistance. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2018, 10: 39307–39318.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. [25]

    Han MK, Yin XW, Duan WY, et al. Hierarchical graphene/SiC nanowire networks in polymer-derived ceramics with enhanced electromagnetic wave absorbing capability. J Eur Ceram Soc 2016, 36: 2695–2703.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. [26]

    Wang XF, Mera G, Morita K, et al. Synthesis of polymerderived graphene/silicon nitride-based nanocomposites with tunable dielectric properties. J Ceram Soc Japan 2016, 124: 981–988.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. [27]

    Colombo P, Mera G, Riedel R, et al. Polymer-derived ceramics: 40 years of research and innovation in advanced ceramics. J Am Ceram Soc 2010: no.

    Google Scholar 

  28. [28]

    Ionescu E, Kleebe HJ, Riedel R. Silicon-containing polymer-derived ceramic nanocomposites (PDC-NCs): Preparative approaches and properties. Chem Soc Rev 2012, 41: 5032.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. [29]

    Stabler C, Ionescu E, Graczyk-Zajac M, et al. Silicon oxycarbide glasses and glass-ceramics: “All-Rounder” materials for advanced structural and functional applications. J Am Ceram Soc 2018, 101: 4817–4856.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. [30]

    Wen QB, Yu ZJ, Riedel R. The fate and role of in situ formed carbon in polymer-derived ceramics. Prog Mater Sci 2020, 109: 100623.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. [31]

    Cordelair J, Greil P. Electrical conductivity measurements as a microprobe for structure transitions in polysiloxane derived Si-O-C ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2000, 20: 1947–1957.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. [32]

    Li Q, Yin XW, Duan WY, et al. Improved dielectric properties of PDCs-SiCN by in situ fabricated nano-structured carbons. J Eur Ceram Soc 2017, 37: 1243–1251.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. [33]

    Duan WY, Yin XW, Luo CJ, et al. Microwave-absorption properties of SiOC ceramics derived from novel hyperbranched ferrocene-containing polysiloxane. J Eur Ceram Soc 2017, 37: 2021–2030.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. [34]

    Guo X, Feng YR, Lin X, et al. The dielectric and microwave absorption properties of polymer-derived SiCN ceramics. J Eur Ceram Soc 2018, 38: 1327–1333.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  35. [35]

    Wang P, Cheng LF, Zhang LT. Lightweight, flexible SiCN ceramic nanowires applied as effective microwave absorbers in high frequency. Chem Eng J 2018, 338: 248–260.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. [36]

    Wang YC, Xiao P, Zhou W, et al. Microstructures, dielectric response and microwave absorption properties of polycarbosilane derived SiC powders. Ceram Int 2018, 44: 3606–3613.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. [37]

    Song Y, He LH, Zhang XF, et al. Highly efficient electromagnetic wave absorbing metal-free and carbon-rich ceramics derived from hyperbranched polycarbosilazanes. J Phys Chem C 2017, 121: 24774–24785.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. [38]

    Luo CJ, Duan WY, Yin XW, et al. Microwave-absorbing polymer-derived ceramics from cobalt-coordinated poly(dimethylsilylene)diacetylenes. J Phys Chem C 2016, 120: 18721–18732.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  39. [39]

    Luo CJ, Tang YS, Jiao T, et al. High-temperature stable and metal-free electromagnetic wave-absorbing SiBCN ceramics derived from carbon-rich hyperbranched polyborosilazanes. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 2018, 10: 28051–28061.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. [40]

    Yu ZJ, Min H, Zhan JY, et al. Preparation and dielectric properties of polymer-derived SiCTi ceramics. Ceram Int 2013, 39: 3999–4007.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. [41]

    Wen QB, Feng Y, Yu ZJ, et al. Microwave absorption of SiC/HfCxN1-x/C ceramic nanocomposites with HfCxN1-x-carbon core-shell particles. J Am Ceram Soc 2016, 99: 2655–2663.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. [42]

    Widgeon S, Mera G, Gao Y, et al. Effect of precursor on speciation and nanostructure of SiBCN polymer-derived ceramics. J Am Ceram Soc 2013, 96: 1651–1659.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. [43]

    Kaspar J, Graczyk-Zajac M, Choudhury S, et al. Impact of the electrical conductivity on the lithium capacity of polymer-derived silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) ceramics. Electrochimica Acta 2016, 216: 196–202.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  44. [44]

    Feng Y, Yu ZJ, Riedel R. Enhanced hydrogen evolution reaction catalyzed by carbon-rich Mo4.8Si3C0.6/C/SiC nanocomposites via a PDC approach. J Am Ceram Soc 2020, 103: 1385–1395.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  45. [45]

    Huang MH, Fang YH, Li R, et al. Synthesis and properties of liquid polycarbosilanes with hyperbranched structures. J Appl Polym Sci 2009, 113: 1611–1618.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. [46]

    Zhou MH, Kim SH, Park JG, et al. Preparation and oil-absorptivity of crosslinked polymers containing stearylmethacrylate, 4-t-butylstyrene, and divinylbenzene. Polym Bull 2000, 44: 17–24.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  47. [47]

    Yu ZJ, Zhan JY, Huang MH, et al. Preparation of a hyperbranched polycarbosilane precursor to SiC ceramics following an efficient room-temperature cross-linking process. J Mater Sci 2010, 45: 6151–6158.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. [48]

    Li HB, Zhang LT, Cheng LF, et al. Polymer-ceramic conversion of a highly branched liquid polycarbosilane for SiC-based ceramics. J Mater Sci 2008, 43: 2806–2811.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  49. [49]

    Li HB, Zhang LT, Cheng LF, et al. Effect of the polycarbosilane structure on its final ceramic yield. J Eur Ceram Soc 2008, 28: 887–891.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  50. [50]

    Ionescu E, Francis A, Riedel R. Dispersion assessment and studies on AC percolative conductivity in polymer-derived Si-C-N/CNT ceramic nanocomposites. J Mater Sci 2009, 44: 2055–2062.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51872246) and Shenzhen Science and Technology Projects (JCYJ20180306172957494).

Author information



Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Zhaoju Yu or Anhua Liu.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Yu, Z., Lv, X., Mao, K. et al. Role of in-situ formed free carbon on electromagnetic absorption properties of polymer-derived SiC ceramics. J Adv Ceram 9, 617–628 (2020).

Download citation


  • polymer-derived ceramics (PDCs)
  • microstructural evolution
  • dielectric properties
  • electromagnetic properties