In the past twenty years, Si-B-C-N ceramic has attracted wide attention due to its special structure and outstanding properties. The ceramic generally has an amorphous or a nano-crystalline structure, and has excellent structural stability, oxidation resistance, creep resistance and high-temperature mechanical properties, etc. Thus, Si-B-C-N ceramic attracts many researchers and finds potential applications in transportation, aerocraft, energy, information, microelectronics and environment, etc. Much work has been carried out on its raw materials, preparation processes, structural evolution, phase equilibrium and high-temperature properties. In recent years, many researchers focus on its new preparation methods, the preparation of dense ceramic sample with large dimensions, ceramic matrix composites reinforced by carbon fiber or SiC whisker, or components with various applications. Research on Si-B-C-N ceramic will develop our insight into the relationship between structures and properties of ceramics, and will be helpful to the development of novel high-performance ceramics. This paper reviews the preparation processes, general microstructures, mechanical, chemical, electrical and optical properties, and potential applications of Si-B-C-N ceramic, as well as its matrix composites.
The authors are grateful to the financial supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51072041, 50902031 and 51021002) and the National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars of China (No. 51225203).