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Chlorosilane Chemistry

  • Page ID
    1403
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    • Contributed by Larry Coleman
    • Engineering Consultant at Consultant on Demand

    Chlorosilanes are a group of reactive, chlorine-containing chemical compounds, related to silane and used in many chemical processes. Each such chemical has at least one silicon-chlorine bond.

    • Elemental Silicon
      Silicon is the next element in the carbon family and shares some of the same atomic structure and tetrahedral bonding tendencies. Unlike carbon, silicon compounds do not have the ability to form double or triple bonds. In crystalline form, silicon does not have the different forms as carbon ( i.e., either diamond, graphite or fullerine graphite). Crystalline silicon forms only a cubic diamond-like structure. Solid silicon can either be amorphous, single-crystal, or polycrystalline.
    • Silicon-Carbon-Chlorine molecules
      Silicon and carbon atoms do not generally bond together at moderate temperatures, but rather only at high temperature to make silicon carbide, in an electric arc furnace. SiC is very non-reactive ceramic material. However, silicon and carbon can be bonded in conjunction with chlorine at more moderate temperatures, where the carbon atom is the part of an organic group (e.g., methyl, ethyl, phenyl).
    • Silicon-Carbon-Oxygen molecules
      Silicon-carbon-oxygen bonded molecules do not occur naturally, are completely synthetic and are generically known as silicones or coupling agents. They are the reaction product of organo-chlorosilanes and di-hydroxy organics. Because of the ability to customize organo-chlorosilane intermediates, the variety of silicone molecules available is almost infinite. An additional degree of variation is in the degree of cross-linking of such smaller chain silicones into macro-molecules.
    • Silicon-Chlorine Bonded Molecules
      Silicon - chlorine bonded molecules do not occur naturally and are completely synthetic. This family includes silane, monochlorosilane (MCS), dichlorosilane (DCS), trichlorosilane (TCS), and silicon tetrachloride (STC), and is generically known as chlorosilanes.
    • Silicon-Oxygen Bonded Molecules
      Silicon-oxygen bonded molecules occur naturally as silicates, in mineral formations like quartzite and sand, and can be extracted into soluble form by reaction with strong alkalis. However, by going thru a chlorosilane hydrolysis route as synthetically produced compounds, silicon-oxygen bonded molecules have found significant application in food-stuffs, paints, moisture absorption, and most notably as silicones.