(118h) Nano-Structured Ceramic ALD Coatings to Stabilize SiC Against Reaction in High Temperature Steam
Silicon Carbide (SiC) is an ideal material for many high-temperature applications due to its resistance to thermal shock and high thermal conductivity. However, SiC degrades in water-rich environments limiting its applications in extreme oxidative environments such as combustion engines, heat exchangers, and high temperature reactor materials. Current deposition methods for environmental barrier coating (EBCs) such as plasma spraying and aerosol spraying generate micron-scale films with inherent grain boundaries and cracks. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) generates nano-scale films that are dense, crack-free, and chemically bonded to the surface without the use of excess precursor. We have found that the application of mullite nanostructured films grown with ALD significantly improves the oxidation resistance of SiC in extreme environments with a film much thinner than standard applications. In addition to mullite, we have targeted a variety of high temperature coating materials chosen based on thermal properties, structural characteristics, and stability in oxidative environments. We have grown ALD layers of our desired materials on high surface area SiC particles using a fluidized bed particle ALD reactor. Using thermogravimetric analysis, it has been shown that these coatings improve the oxidation resistance of SiC by up to 64% at 1000oC. We have applied density functional theory (DFT) to model the performance of these mullite coatings in an oxidative environment. Computational modeling of oxygen diffusion through mullite and other candidate materials allows identification of promising coatings to further extend the lifetime of SiC. We expect to use this understanding to develop more advanced stabilizing coatings for SiC and the myriad of other applications that require high-temperature oxidation resistant materials.