Isotopically Pure Silicon for Semiconductors
Pure silicon has been studied by the semiconductor industry for years and is believed by many to be the answer to the debilitating heat generated by today's computers that results in slower processing speed. There are patents on the use of this pure silicon material in wafer manufacture, but no one has been able to purify the gas that silicon is made from at a reasonable cost or in the quantities needed for commercial application.
Tenoroc's separation method is a good fit for purifying silicon because of the weights and condensation temperatures of its isotopes. Silicon is composed of three isotopes, Si28, Si29, and Si30. Si28 is approximately 92% of the mix. Because both Si29 and Si30 weigh more in their gaseous state than Si28, and condense at a higher temperature than Si28, they are more easily separated with a curved nozzle that causes a massive weight difference through targeted condensation and imparts massive centrifugal force. The process can be further enhanced with an aggressive "cut" at the nozzle skimmer which would take some of the gaseous Si28 along with the condensed Si29 and Si30, ensuring isotopically pure Si28. The separated, non-isotopically pure mix can still be used for less demanding applications.
It is generally understood that one source of this material had been the former Soviet Union military centrifuge systems. It was apparently too expensive and the volume necessary to create a viable market for isotopically pure wafers was not available. In pursuit of a solution to heat buildup in computers, a publicly traded company was established to acquire isotopically pure gases, used to produce silicon, from the Soviet Union. That company was unsuccessful in this effort. The Tenoroc technology could be the answer to the ongoing industry challenge of heat buildup, facilitating the production of faster microprocessors.
In addition to the promise that isotopically pure silicon wafers hold for today's computer technology, researchers have begun to experiment with nano-based technology that is also built upon isotopically pure silicon. This experimental nano technology indicates the possibility of exponentially increased processing speeds.