Thermodynamics of Solid Transition-Metal Silicides


The silicides formed by reaction with transition-metal elements (groups IB-VIIIB in the periodic table) have been of interest to the practicing metallurgist for some time, due to their considerable stability and oxidation resistance. This stability was first noticed in the examination of equilibria in steel-making systems and led to some of the first research on the thermodynamic properties of these compounds. A more general use of a transition-metal silicide came about when molybdenum disilicide elements were developed for high-temperature furnaces. More recently, the extensive development of intermetallic materials in general has yielded other potential applications of these compounds. Their low electrical resistivity and compatibility with silicon substrates has furthered their use as contacts and interconnects in integrated circuits, and several silicides have potential value in thermoelectric energy conversion. The oxidation resistance and stability of these compounds lends to their further employment as high-temperature coatings. As in the case with other intermetallic compounds, the transition-metal silicides also have impressive high-temperature tensile strength (and poor ductility); this has fostered continuing efforts toward development of silicide-bearing cermets and other composites.


Materials Science and Engineering

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Article - Journal

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© 1990 American Chemical Society (ACS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 1990