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Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 30, Issue 8, pp 2008–2018 | Cite as

Parametric study of the plasma synthesis of ultrafine silicon nitride powders

  • G. Soucy
  • J. W. Jurewicz
  • M. I. Boulos
Papers

Abstract

The high-temperature plasma synthesis of ultrafine silicon nitride (Si3N4) powders through the vapour-phase reaction between SiCl4 and NH3 in an Ar/H2 radio frequency (r.f.) inductively coupled plasma was investigated. The experiments were carried out at a 25–39 kW plate power level and at atmospheric pressure. Special attention was paid to the influence of the reactor wall temperature and plasma operating conditions on the quality of the powder. With a cold-wall reactor, the powders obtained were white to light brown in colour and were composed of crystalline, amorphous and Si3N4 whisker phases. Both α and β-Si3N4 were present in these products. The NH4Cl, formed as a by-product of the reaction, could be eliminated from the Si3N4 by thermal treatment. The BET specific surface area of the powder after thermal treatment was about 60 m2g−1. The use of the hot-wall reactor resulted in a considerable reduction in the amount of NH4Cl remaining in the powder (less than 1 wt%) and a considerable increase in the fraction of the powder obtained in crystalline form. These powders were composed of a mixture of amorphous phase and 30 wt% or more of the α and β-Si3N4 crystalline phases. The BET specific surface area of the powder after thermal treatment was found to be 40 m2g−1. The experimental results are discussed in relation to their use for optimizing reactor design for the vapour-phase synthesis of ultrafine ceramic powders.

Keywords

Thermal Treatment NH4Cl Wall Temperature Silicon Nitride Ceramic Powder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Soucy
    • 1
  • J. W. Jurewicz
    • 1
  • M. I. Boulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Plasma Technology Research Centre (CRTP), Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversité de SherbrookeSherbrookeCanada

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