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Aluminum Nitride

Aluminum nitride, referred to as azanylidynealumane in IUPAC nomenclature, is an inorganic compound of aluminum and nitrogen represented by the chemical formula AlN [1]. It is not a naturally-occurring compound and has to be artificially synthesized [2]. It is characterized by high thermal conductivity and electrical resistivity, as well as an excellent corrosion resistance [2].

 

Aluminum Nitride Identification

CAS Number 24304-00-5 [1, 3]
PubChem CID 90455 [1]
ChemSpider ID 81668 [4]
ChEBI CHEBI:50884 [5]
EC Number 246-140-8 [1, 3]
RTECS Number N/A [3]
InChI Key PIGFYZPCRLYGLF-UHFFFAOYSA-N [1]

Aluminum Nitride Formula

How is Aluminum Nitride Prepared

Its synthesis involves carbothermal reduction of aluminum oxide (Al2O3) using gaseous nitrogen at a temperature of 1400-1700 °C [6]:

  1. Al2O3 + C → Al2O2 + CO
  2. Al2O2 + 2C + N2 → 2AlN + 2CO

Sintering aids like CaO or Y2O3 are used, and then the mix is hot pressed to produce the dense technical-grade material.

Aluminum Nitride Powder

Properties and Characteristics of Aluminum Nitride

General Properties

Molar Mass/Molecular Weight 40.989 g/mol [1]

Physical Properties

Color and Appearance White to pale yellow powder or sheet [3, 4]
Melting Point 2200 °C, 3990 °F [3]
Boiling Point 2517 °C, 4563 °F [3]
Density 2.9-3.3 g cm-3 [3]
State of matter at room temperature (solid/liquid/gas) Solid [3]
Solubility Slightly soluble in mineral acids, decompose in water solutions containing acids and bases [7]
Solubility in Water Insoluble (monocrystalline form), hydrolyzes (powder form)
Thermal Conductivity 80-200 W/K.m [3]
Volume Resistivity 1010-1016 Ω.cm [8]
Dielectric Constant 9.14 [9]
Hardness 1100 Kg/mm2 [10]
Thermal Emissivity (100 °C) 0.93 [11]
Infrared Refractive Index (300 K) 2.1-2.2 (monocrystals and epitaxial films), 1.9-2.1 (polycrystalline films), 1.8-1.9 (amorphous films) [9]
Lattice Constant (300 K) a and c 3.11(1) Å and 4.98(1) Å [9]

Atomic Properties

Crystal Structure Wurtzite

Aluminum Nitride Crystal Structure

What is It Used for

  • A thin film of crystalline aluminum nitride, because of its piezoelectric properties, is used for developing small surface acoustic wave sensors (SAWs) on silicon wafers [12].
  • RF filters in mobile phones consist of a microelectromechanical system (MEMS) device, called thin film bar acoustic resonator (FBAR), which uses AlN [13].
  • A piezoelectric layer of AlN is used in making micromachined ultrasound transducers (MUTs) that have applications in velocity sensing, robotics, and medical imaging [14].
  • Aluminum nitride nanotubes are used as chemical sensors for detecting toxic gases [15].
  • Currently, there is research into manufacturing light-emitting diodes that use gallium-aluminum nitride-based semiconductors for improved emission efficiency [16].

Aluminum Nitride Ceramic Sheet

Aluminum Nitride Toxicity

Exposure to AlN through mouth, inhalation, or injection may cause bone and lung toxicity [17]. Repeated exposure can irritate the eyes and skin [17].

References:

  1. Aluminum Nitride (AlN) – Pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Aluminum Nitride (AlN) – Surmet.com
  3. Aluminum Nitride – Americanelements.com
  4. Aluminium nitride – Chemspider.com
  5. CHEBI:50884 – aluminium nitride – Ebi.ac.uk
  6. Carbothermal Synthesis Of Aluminum Nitride Using Sucrose – Digitool.library.mcgill.ca
  7. Aluminum nitride – Chemicalbook.com
  8. Effects of adding Y2O3 on the electrical resistivity of aluminum nitride ceramics – Jstage.jst.go.jp
  9. AlN – Aluminum Nitride Basic Parameters – Ioffe.ru
  10. Aluminum Nitride, AlN Ceramic Properties – Accuratus.com
  11. Aluminum Nitride Property List – Matsuo-sangyo.co.jp
  12. Aluminum Nitride on Sapphire Films for Surface Acoustic Wave Chemical Sensors – Jhuapl.edu
  13. AlN and ScAlN Contour Mode Resonators for RF Filters – Osti.gov
  14. Aluminum Nitride Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer Arrays – Semanticscholar.org
  15. Aluminum Nitride Nanotubes – Researchgate.net
  16. Aluminum nitride nanowire light emitting diodes: Breaking the fundamental bottleneck of deep ultraviolet light sources – Nature.com
  17. Aluminum Nitride Safety Data Sheet – Espimetals.com

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