Converting PBO fibers into carbon fibers by ultrafast carbonization

Liwen Zhang, Małgorzata Kowalik, Zan Gao, Chowdhury M. Ashraf, Siavash Rajabpour, Clifton Bumgardner, Yosyp Schwab, Behzad Damirchi, Jiadeng Zhu, Dooman Akbarian, James W. Klett, Adri C.T. van Duin, Xiaodong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We report an ultrafast transformation of poly(p-phenylene-2,6-benzobisoxazole) (PBO) fibers into carbon fibers (CFs) by direct carbonization that eliminates high-cost oxidation in traditional CF conversion. Ultrafast heating and cooling render PBO-derived CFs superlative mechanical properties. ReaxFF atomistic-scale reactive molecular dynamics simulations unveil the PBO to CF conversion mechanism in which ultrafast heating suppresses the O-contained gas release, facilitating all-carbon rings alignment during the carbonization of PBO. These findings provide new guidelines for identifying and evaluating alternative CF precursors and fresh perspectives on smart manufacturing of CFs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-442
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Apr 15 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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