Eco-Friendly Method to Convert Silicon Waste into Nanoparticles

Silicon is the basis of increasing amounts of solar panels. A solar panel with a 25- to 30-year life expectancy tends to lose its value and produce less electricity over time. Therefore, it is a popular topic for recycling silicon waste.
If it is not possible to reduce silicon waste by recycling, in 2050 the Earth will have 60 million tons of solar panels.

Stanislav Ellashin, an experienced senior scientist from the Skoltech Center for Design, Manufacturing and Materials, led the research team that developed a method for converting silicon wafers to nanoparticles by using only aqueous solution. This could be a step towards creating an eco-friendly silicon recycling process that doesn’t require toxic chemicals.

New conversion processes are controllable, and allow for the control of nanoparticle sizes, so that they can be reused in medical, optical, and other areas.

To convert scrapped panels into nanoparticles, hydrothermal synthesize in an aqueous atmosphere. You don’t need a lot to control the nanoparticles size.

Monitoring the impact of pollution and nanomaterials on the environment using Nanoparticle Tracking

Three types of silicon wafers were used by the team in this experiment. They were N (nitrogen doped), P (phosphorus doped) and HR (high resistant). Based on density functional theory, their theoretical calculations showed that SiH bonds can be formed on the surface HR plates even when ammonia isn’t used as a catalyst.

You can speed up the reaction by adding molecular defects and/or boron dopants to the reactions (in the instance of solar panels).

Many methods to create silica particles are bottom-up and use alkoxides for precursors. Our method, however, is top-down and uses bulk silicon as the source. It has many benefits, such as ease of use, scaleability and controllable particle sizes.

Bondareva stated that temperature and hydrolysis times are key factors in the formation of particles. It was obvious that pH increases have a significant impact on particle formation rates. Ammonia is used to accelerate the rate of reaction.

It was important to determine how the nanoparticles formed during this process. This was achieved by using a heterogeneous nuclear model that had a small number of nucleation center distributed at the silicon source’s surface.

Silicon nanoparticles

Silicon nanoparticles are biocompatible metal-free, photoluminescent quantum dots that include customizable dimensions and surfaces. The silicon nanoparticles contain pure, amorphous micro-silica. It is less than five nanometers in size, which makes it a very small particle size. A new generation optoelectronic semiconductor material, nanosilicon powder has a broad bandgap. The material is also capable of producing high-power light sources.

Silicon nanoparticles have both absorptive properties and are abrasive. Additionally, they are mesoporous. This makes them useful in drug delivery and medicine nanotechnology. The unique properties of silicon nanoparticles and their biocompatibility have made them a popular choice for drug delivery.

How are silicon nanoparticles employed?

1. This is the raw material used to make organic silicon polymer materials that react with organic matter.

2. Polysilicon is made from the purified metal silicon

3. Metal surface treatment.

4. The lithium battery can be greatly increased by using graphite or nano-carbon as the negative electrode.

The physical and chemical properties silicon nanoparticles

It is a white emulsion that’s non-toxic and doesn’t cause irritation. The PH value for this product is 12, with a density between 1.15 and 1.2. It can be used as a base for brick, cement and gypsum. Excellent waterproofing and anti-seepage properties. It prevents freezing, cracking, building weathering, exterior wall cleaning and anti-fouling. It has the following qualities: reliable quality, durability, great weather resistance, exceptional corrosion resistance, excellent weather resistance and no steel bar corrosion. This makes construction easy. Mortar impermeability >=S14; concrete permeability>=S18.

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