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Plasma processes for producing silanes and derivatives thereof

United States Patent

March 25, 2014
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The invention is generally related to process for generating one or more molecules having the formula Si.sub.xH.sub.y, Si.sub.xD.sub.y, Si.sub.xH.sub.yD.sub.z, and mixtures thereof, where x,y and z are integers .gtoreq.1, H is hydrogen and D is deuterium, such as silane, comprising the steps of: providing a silicon containing material, wherein the silicon containing material includes at least 20 weight percent silicon atoms based on the total weight of the silicon containing material; generating a plasma capable of vaporizing a silicon atom, sputtering a silicon atom, or both using a plasma generating device; and contacting the plasma to the silicon containing material in a chamber having an atmosphere that includes at least about 0.5 mole percent hydrogen atoms and/or deuterium atoms based on the total moles of atoms in the atmosphere; so that a molecule having the formula Si.sub.xH.sub.y; (e.g., silane) is generated. The process preferably includes a step of removing one or more impurities from the Si.sub.xH.sub.y (e.g., the silane) to form a clean Si.sub.xH.sub.y, Si.sub.xD.sub.y, Si.sub.xH.sub.yD.sub.z (e.g., silane). The process may also include a step of reacting the Si.sub.xH.sub.y, Si.sub.xD.sub.y, Si.sub.xH.sub.yD.sub.z (e.g., the silane) to produce a high purity silicon containing material such as electronic grade metallic silicon, photovoltaic grade metallic silicon, or both.
Laine; Richard M. (Ann Arbor, MI), Massey; Dean Richard (Ann Arbor, MI), Peterson; Peter Young (Saline, MI)
13/ 021,324
February 4, 2011
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT The invention was made with U.S. Government support under National Science Foundation Award No. IIP-0740871 and under the U.S. Department of Energy Contract No. DE-FG36-08GO18009. The Government has certain rights to the invention.