Silicon is an element which is used in abundance in industries, in all its forms. When it comes to silicon gases, Silane, Disilane, Monochlorosilane and Dichlorosilane prove to be the most popular. Although all of these share silicon as a common compound, they have found uses in diverse fields when it comes to industrial usage.
This compound has a chemical formula of SiH4. However, other functionalized silanes are also referred to simply as silanes in order to avoid using complex chemical names. Some of these include trichlorosilane, tetrachloroilane, and siloxane.
Silanes have found an impressive range of usage when it comes to industrial applications. They are used as water repellents and in protection during masonry work. Silane gas in its original form finds use in glass industries as an adherent and coating substance for glass fibers.
However, silanes have found maximum usage in semiconductor industries. They were used as much as 300 metric tons/year in the 1990s. Most of these semiconductors are used in electronic devices. Hence, silanes are indirectly used as raw material as well as additives in the production of microelectronic devices. Sometimes, they are also used for insulation coating.
Disilane is a synthetically produced gas chemically referred to as Si2H6. It is popularly used in the manufacturing of photovoltaic devices. These include solar panels, solar cells, etc. Apart from this, disilane is also used in preparation of silicon wafers. These wafers are used in the electronics industry in production of ICs and solar cells. Disilane is also used in the semiconductor industry in making of amorphous silicon.
The two majorly used chlorosilanes are Monochlorosilane (SiH3Cl) and Dichlorosilane (SiCl2H2). While both of these find use in the electronics industry, dichloroilane is used mostly only in building up silicon layers in semiconductors. It is also the most common substance to be used as the base layer of the silicon semiconductors.
Although they find such wide use in manufacturing industries, certain silicon gases are hazardous to health and should be used cautiously. Their manufacturing, handling, storage and transportation has to be done with utmost care and under crucial inspection in order to avoid dangerous situations. These gases prove to be toxic for lungs, skin and the heart. They are also highly flammable and explode if heated without proper inspection.