Synthesis and Characterization of a Porous Silicon Filter with Si3N4 Whiskers
Removal of fine particles from some gas-product effluents from motors and industries, using filters, is an important subject in the field of public health and environment. In the present work, a porous silicon filter was produced, which is able to capture most of the particles undesirable for the environment (transported by gases), larger than the pore diameter (micrometer) of the filter and even smaller size particles. The development of whiskers inside of the pores of the silicon filter, improve its ability to catch smaller particles than the filter’s size pores. Those whiskers are made of Silicon Nitride, produced by a Nitridation process. A different time-temperature schedule for the formation of -silicon nitride (-Si3N4) whiskers by direct Nitridation of the porous silicon filter was studied, in order to optimize the amount of whiskers and improve the filter quality. Four different temperatures (1000, 1100, 1200 and 1300 °C) were selected, each with two different holding times (15 min and 1 hour) for complete Nitridation with N2 and N2+H2 gases. The as-formed whiskers were characterized by SEM, XRD techniques and the process conditions were studied. The filter with the Si3N4 whiskers was characterized evaluating mechanical properties of the porous silicon filter (Micro Hardness and Young Modulus). The permeability measurements were made before and after the Nitridation process. Analysis indicates that the higher Si3N4 whiskers formation temperature was 1300 °C for the gas (N2+H2) phase reaction results from the lower PSiO2/Psio ratio in the Si-N system. Titanium (99% pure) was used with the purpose of reduction of the oxygen partial pressure and the increase of the amount of -silicon nitride whiskers. The porous silicon filter improved its conditions with the silicon nitride whiskers, even though decreases also the fluid permeability measurement. However, it has a smaller flow decrement than filters with smaller porosity. The mechanical properties did not have variation at all, the porosity size increased because of the diffusion of Si to form whiskers in the Nitridation process.
A. Agüero, J.M. Albella, M.P. Hierro, J. Phillibert and F.J. Pérez Trujillo
M. Wong-Sifuentes et al., "Synthesis and Characterization of a Porous Silicon Filter with Si3N4 Whiskers", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 289-292, pp. 185-194, 2009