Precursors possessing Ti–N bonds were prepared by the reactions between Ti(NMe 2 ) 4 and each of three diamines H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 NH 2 , Me(H)NCH 2 CH 2 N(H)Me, HN(CH 2 CH 2 ) 2 NH (Ti(NMe 2 ) 4 :diamine 14= 141:2), and were converted into ceramics by pyrolysis. The reactions with H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 NH 2 and HN(CH 2 CH 2 ) 2 NH led to the formation of insoluble solids, whereas a soluble oil was obtained by the reaction with Me(H)NCH 2 CH 2 N(H)Me. The pyrolyses under argon gave carbon-rich Ti(N,C,O) phases,but those under NH 3 – N 2 resulted in the formation of Ti(N,C,O) phases with higher nitrogen contents. Despite the difference in precursor structures the pyrolysis behavior of three precursors under argon was rather similar, suggesting that the precursor obtained from Me(H)NCH 2 CH 2 N(H)Me was effectively cross-linked during pyrolysis. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.