Preparation of Silicon Nitride Whiskers from Diatomaceous Earth: I, Reaction Conditions

Yukako Mizuhara, Masao Noguchi, Tatsumi Ishihara, Yusaku Takita

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Whiskers and powder of silicon nitride were prepared by the carbothermal reduction and nitridation of diatomaceous earth in the presence of flowing N2 and NH3. The optimum temperature for the formation of Si3N4 whiskers was 1350°C and the yield reached almost 20% after 24 h. The α‐Si3N4 content decreased with increasing nitridation temperature. Yields of the whiskers were dependent on NH3 concentration and the total gas feed rate. The maximum yield of inside whiskers was obtained for a 25 vol% NH3/N2 mixture, while the maximum quantity of outside whiskers was produced for 75 vol% NH3/N2. The sum of the yield of the inside and outside whiskers increased with decreasing total gas feed rate. However, no nitridation of SiO2 was observed at a feed gas rate below 0.18 mmol·min−1. The yield of the inside whiskers increased gradually with increasing reaction time up to 36 h, whereupon a constant value was attained. Although the amount of outside whiskers produced was relatively small, the quantity seemed to increase until 60 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-113
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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