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Comparison of Silicon Nitride Nanofibers Synthesized Using Silica Nanopowders and Silica Gel

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Author(s): Sanket Deshmukh | Kei-Peng Jen | Sridhar Santhanam

Journal: Materials Sciences and Applications
ISSN 2153-117X

Volume: 03;
Issue: 08;
Start page: 523;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Silicon Nitride | Nanofibers | Carbothermal

ABSTRACT
Nanofibers of alpha silicon nitride were grown by a vapor-solid mechanism at 1450?C, through the carbothermal reduction process. Two different precursor silica sources were used: silica nanopowders and silica gel. The effect of processing geometry, particularly the stacking orientations of the graphite substrates, silica pellets, and crucibles, on the density of nanofiber growth was also explored. The silicon nitride nanofibers appear with a predominantly rectangular cross section from silica nanopowder precursors and with a circular cross section for silica gel precursors. Silica gel precursors produce nanofiber products that are smaller in cross section but greater in length than the products from silica nanopowder precursors. The processing geometry must be suitably designed such that the vapor-solid mechanism that is responsible for the formation of the nanofibers is not disrupted.
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