Date: August 2003
Creator: Dong, Hanjiang
Description: Methyl-functionalized porous silica is of considerable interest as a low dielectric constant film for semiconductor devices. The structural development of these materials appears to affect their gelation behaviors and impact their mechanical properties and shrinkage during processing. 29Si solution NMR was used to follow the structural evolution of MTMS (methyltrimethoxysilane) polymerization to gelation or precipitation, and thus to better understand the species that affect these properties and gelation behaviors. The effects of pH, water concentration, type of solvents, and synthesis procedures (single step acid catalysis and two-step acid/base catalysis) on MTMS polymerization were discussed. The reactivity of silicon species with different connectivity and the extent of cyclization were found to depend appreciably on the pH value of the sol. A kinetic model is presented to treat the reactivity of both silicon species involved in condensations separately based on the inductive and steric effects of these silicon species. Extensive cyclization in the presence of acid, which was attributed to the steric effects among numerous reaction pathways for the first time, prevents MTMS gelation, whereas gels were obtained from the two-step method with nearly random condensations. The experimental degree of condensation (DC) at the gel point using the two-step procedure was determined ...
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