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Back to Silicone 6. (CH3)2SiCl2
This tenet from the second law of thermodynamics is critical to the understanding of the preparation of pure silicon. Follow the calculations through and then do the problem.
Heat and Chemical
Resistant Silicone Rubber
Eugene Rochow knew that the elemental silicon was not easy to make in a pure state. He needed pure silicon to make silicones. We need even purer silicon for computer chips and other devices. Consider thermodynamics.
The reaction of sand with carbon is the source of silicon. In a high temperature electric arc, we observe:
2C +SiO2 -> 2CO + Si
But we learned in thermodynamics that if a process had high positive enthalpy - was not spontaneous at room temperature, we could only make the process go forward if the entropy was positive and we raised the temperature. It is the Free Energy, G, that must be negative if we want a process to proceed.
Here is the thermodynamic data on the four reactants and products, along with data for CO2.
For 298 degrees Kelvin:
2C +SiO2 -> 2CO + Si
deltaH0 = 2(-110) - (-911) = 691kJ/mol - highly unfavored
deltaS0 = [2(198) + (19)] - (6 + 42) = 367 J/mol.K = 0.367 kJ/mol.K - highly favored
but deltaG0 is what counts for spontaneity.
deltaG0 = 2(-137) - (-856) = 586kJ/mol highly unfavored at 25 degrees Celsius.
Well, what temperature would be required to, let's say, reach equilibrium in this system? At equilibrium, G = 0. So let's calculate a theoretical temperature for an equilibrium :
deltaG = deltaH - TdeltaS
0 = 691 - T(.367)
T = 1850 degrees Kelvin
The electric arc furnace is what's required for this process. And the process will only go to equilibrium. Thus the silicon is certain to be contaminated with the two other solid materials, sand and carbon.
Additonal processing is required to make pure silicon metal - processes that take advantage of the low intermolecular forces between nonpolar SiCl4 molecules:
Si + 2Cl2 -> SiCl4
Silicon tetrachloride is a liquid with a unique boiling point. It can be purified easily by boiling it from the solid silicon and gaseous chlorine. The pure silicon tetrachloride is then converted back to now pure silicon for electronic devices.
Science and Mathematics
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