Cekdar Vakifahmetoglu of Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA has been named as the winner of the inaugural Davidge award for his review on the ‘Fabrication and properties of ceramic 1D nanostructures from preceramic polymers’.
One-dimensional ceramic nanostructures such as nano-rods, -tubes and -wires attract much interest owing to their superior properties relative to larger scale structures. Of particular interest is their improved functional performance, in areas such as electron emissivity, photoluminescence, saturation magnetisation and specific surface area (e.g. for catalysis). A diverse range of processes has been developed to fabricate one-dimensional nanostructures. Several of these methods offer good control over the structure, composition and properties of the 1D nanostructures and show potential for production in commercial processes, but there is a need for better understanding of their capabilities and respective strengths.
The winning review is a well-written and thorough account of the subject that contains some stunning images. It assesses the fabrication of one-dimensional ceramic nanostructures produced using preceramic polymers, focusing on three routes: catalyst assisted pyrolysis, template modulated methods and electrospinning. Catalyst assisted pyrolysis is judged to be a relatively simple, cheap and flexible process, though careful control of process parameters is required for good process control and reproducibility. Use of a template allows more accurate control of shape and size of the structures produced, but adds cost and complexity. Electrospinning gives high yields of 1D nanostructures with desirable properties and permits modification of the precursor with metal dopants.
A limitation of is that the process requires precursors with high molecular weight and/or high viscosity solutions and further processing steps are required for some structures. The review concludes that there is need for more work focusing specifically on properties and applications of the nanostructures: the focus to date has been more on characterising the structures produced.
The review paper was based on the author’s Ph.D thesis,‘Properties and characterisation of porous ceramics with hierarchical porosity’, which was recently completed at the University of Padua, Italy.
The Davidge award is a biannual prize for the best literature review by a PhD student on an innovative topic in ceramics. It commemorates the distinguished contributions to the science and application of ceramics made by the late Roger Davidge (1936–97).
The award is run and judged by the Editorial Board of Advances in Applied Ceramics, the specialist ceramics journal of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. It is open to postgraduates studying for a materials science and engineering related qualification at any academic institution worldwide.
Edited by Professor Mohan Edirisinghe of University College London, UK, Advances in Applied Ceramics publishes original research on functional ceramics, engineering ceramics, including ceramic matrix composites and glass composites, and bioceramics. Coverage encompasses areas such as nanotechnology and biomaterials where materials science is progressing and evolving through interdisciplinary collaboration. For further information, including how to submit to the journal, visit the journal homepage. To view articles online, visit the journal on IngentaConnect. For the latest content, sign up for journal TOC alerts.
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