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Segregation coefficients for common impurity and dopant elements in silicon.
Element k 0 Element k 0
aluminum 0.002 iron 8 x 10 -6
boron 0.8 oxygen 0.25
carbon 0.07 phosphorus 0.35
copper 4 x 10 -6 antimony 0.023

Gallium arsenide

In contrast to electronic grade silicon (EGS), whose use is a minor fraction of the global production of elemental silicon, gallium arsenide (GaAs) is produced exclusively for use in the semiconductor industry. However, arsenic and its compounds have significant commercial applications. The main use of elemental arsenic is in alloys of Pb, and to a lesser extent Cu, while arsenic compounds are widely used in pesticides and wood preservatives and the production of bottle glass. Thus, the electronics industry represents a minor user of arsenic. In contrast, although gallium has minor uses as a high-temperature liquid seal, manometric fluids and heat transfer media, and for low temperature solders, its main use is in semiconductor technology.

Isolation and purification of gallium metal

At 19 ppm gallium (L. Gallia , France) is about as abundant as nitrogen, lithium and lead; it is twice as abundant as boron (9 ppm), but is more difficult to extract due to the lack of any major gallium-containing ore. Gallium always occurs in association either with zinc or germanium, its neighbors in the periodic table, or with aluminum in the same group. Thus, the highest concentrations (0.1-1%) are in the rare mineral germanite (a complex sulfide of Zn, Cu, Ge, and As), while concentrations in sphalerite (ZnS), diaspore [AlO(OH)], bauxite, or coal, are a hundred-fold less. Industrially, gallium was originally recovered from the flue dust emitted during sulfide roasting or coal burning (up to 1.5% Ga), however, it is now obtained as side product of vast aluminum industry and in particular from the Bayer process for obtaining alumina from bauxite.

The Bayer process involves dissolution of bauxite, AlO x OH 3-2x , in aqueous NaOH, separation of insoluble impurities, partial precipitation of the trihydrate, Al(OH) 3 , and calcination at 1,200 °C. During processing the alkaline solution is gradually enriched in gallium from an initial weight ratio Ga/Al of about 1/5000 to about 1/300. Electrolysis of these extracts with a Hg cathode results in further concentration, and the solution of sodium gallate thus formed is then electrolyzed with a stainless steel cathode to give Ga metal. Since bauxite contains 0.003-0.01% gallium, complete recovery would yield some 500-1000 tons per annum, however present consumption is only 0.1% of this about 10 tons per annum.

A typical analysis of the 98-99% pure gallium obtained as a side product from the Bayer process is shown in [link] . This material is further purified to 99.99% by chemical treatment with acids and O 2 at high temperatures followed by crystallization. This chemical process results in the reduction of the majority of metal impurities at the ppm level, see [link] . Purification to seven nines 99.9999% is possible through zone refining, however, since the equilibrium distribution coefficient of the residual impurities k 0 ≈ 1, multiple passes are required, typically>500. The low melting point of gallium ensures that contamination from the container wall (which is significant in silicon zone refining) is minimized. In order to facilitate the multiple zone refining in a suitable time, a simple modification of zone refining is employed shown in [link] . The gallium is contained in a plastic tube wrapped around a rotating cylinder that is half immersed in a cooling bath. A heater is positioned above the gallium plastic coil. Thus, establishing a series of molten zones that pass upon rotation of the drum by one helical segment per revolution. In this manner, 500 passes may be made in relatively short time periods. The typical impurity levels of gallium zone refined in this manner are given in [link] .

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Source:  OpenStax, Chemistry of electronic materials. OpenStax CNX. Aug 09, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10719/1.9
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