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New process for cyclohexasilane offers lower cost and improved safety

By Scott Jenkins |

A newly developed process for manufacturing cyclohexasilane (CHS; Si6H12) offers a lower-cost and safer pathway to a material whose molecular architecture allows a wider range of material possibilities than alternative starting materials for several important silicon-based products. CHS can be used to make silicon-based films (such as polysilicon, silicon nitride, silicon carbide and others), as well as silicon nanowires and quantum dots. CHS also has the potential to be used to make novel materials for semiconductors, printable electronics and hybrid silicon-carbon anodes in next-generation lithium-ion batteries, among others. Making such materials with CHS, rather than SiH4 or cyclopentasilane, for example, has advantages, explains Doug Freitag, CEO of 3DIcon Corp. (Tulsa, Okla.; www.3dicon.net). Freitag’s company is completing a merger with Coretec Industries LLC (Fargo, N.D.; www.coretecindustries.com), the licensee of the technology. One advantage is easier transport and handling. CHS exists as a liquid at room temperature and while it will burn, it will not explode similar to other silane chemistries, Freitag explains. CHS also has the advantage of being suitable for liquid-, as well as vapor-deposition processes (CHS converts…
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