New insight into SiOC atomic structure evolution during early stage of pyrolysis
This study focuses on the early stage of polymer-derived SiOC ceramic conversion. We demonstrate that the perceived SiOC phase separation is nonexistent. Instead, SiO2 and free carbon clusters form first and then carbothermal reduction sets in to induce SiOC formation. Such fundamental understanding is supported by both synchrotron X-ray diffraction study and reactive force field simulation. This work for the first time unifies the understanding of atomic evolution process of polysiloxane-based polymer to ceramic conversion.