Precursor-derived ceramics


Pyrolysis in a gas flowed, heated quartz tube
Schlenk apparatus (synthesis under inert atmosphere)
Schlenk apparatus (synthesis under inert atmosphere).
Pyrolysis in a gas flowed, heated quartz tube

The usage of molecular or polymer precursors provides an auspicious tool for controlling the composition, microstructure, and resulting properties of particular ceramics. The properties of these ceramics tailored already by the choice of the diversity of precursor substances leading to advantages in processing of layers, infiltration processes or preparation of matrix materials for composites as well as bulk materials.

Material synthesis and development

  • Thin films with thicknesses of a few nanometers up to micrometers:
    • Synthesis of liquid precursors, suspensions or solutions for deposition of thin films
    • Gas phase deposition (plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition)
    • Spin coating
    • Dip coating
  • Nanoparticles:
    • Sol-gel synthesis followed by calcination to produce doped and non-doped nanopowders
    • Freeze drying of sol or gel
  • Bulk materials:
    • Sol-gel synthesis followed by calcination or pyrolysis 
    • Single source precursors using organometallic synthesis
    • Precursors for classical ceramic processing (milling, shaping and sintering)


Techniques and equipment

  • Schlenk apparatus (synthesis under inert atmosphere)
  • Pyrolysis with reactive or inert gases (temperatures up to 1100°C), calcinations under air
  • Spin coating (coating methods ) with hot plate (temperatures up to 1000°C) under inert atmosphere
  • Gloveboxes with argon and nitrogen atmosphere with integrated sintering furnace, hot plate and milling equipment
  • Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD, coating methods)
  • Ceramization of polymers and precursors
  • Contact angle measuring instrument with heating chamber (up to 400°C)
  • Ball and stirrer mills
  • Warm press

Services offered

  • Synthesis of liquids and solids starting with precursors
  • Contact angle, wetting and surface tension measurements
  • Spin coating
  • PECVD of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon
  • PECVD of zinc oxide
  • ATR-IR analysis (for liquids or solids, under air or inert atmosphere)
  • Ellipsometry (thickness measurement of transparent or semitransparent thin films) 
  • Measurement of optical properties (refractive index, absorption coefficient)
  • Karl Fischer titration
  • Evaluation of materials or literature and market research