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Low-temperature nitride transformation reactions

By: Borland, W.; Aygun, S.; Hook, D.; Maria, J.;

2011 / IEEE / 978-1-4244-9965-6


This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' Low-temperature nitride transformation reactions ' This study illustrates a novel method of transforming between two refractory nitrides at temperatures well below their respective melting points. Silicon nitride (Si3N4) is an excellent thermal and electronic insulator, with applications in the microelectronic, automotive and technical ceramic industries. Thermodynamically, there is a significant decrease in the Gibb's Free Energy inherent in the transformation between Si3N4 and a number of refractory metal nitrides; however, these transformation reactions are limited in the pure state by a kinetic barrier at any temperature appreciably lower than the melting point of Si3N4 (<2173 K). Results of this study illustrate the successful conversion of powdered amorphous Si3N4 to TiN. The transformation is made possible by a liquid phase present in a number of Ti-based alloys at temperatures in the vicinity of 800�C. Since both nitrides (SiNx and TiN) are refractory, the presence of the liquid phase provides a high-diffusivity pathway, thus overcoming the kinetic barrier associated with the otherwise thermodynamically favorable reaction.