from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a group of silicon hydrides having the general formula SiH that are analogous to the paraffin hydrocarbons.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a group of silicon hydrides that are analogous to alkanes (the paraffin hydrocarbons); especially the parent compound SiH4
  • n. monosilane (SiH₄)


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

sil(icon) + (meth)ane.


  • The result is that the effective specific impulse of this system would not be 280 seconds, but 280 seconds multiplied by the ratio of total propellant to silane, which is 3.75.

    The Case for Mars

  • The intermediate chemical is a "silane," a molecule that has silicon and alkanes (chains of carbon atoms).

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  • (N2) & specialty gases such as silane (SiH4), ammonia (NH3) to produce Si Thin Film cells: carrier gases (N2, H2), specialty gases (SiH4, NF3, dopant mixtures) and coating precursor materials. Aktuelle Nachrichten

  • As it ascends towards the surface of the earth, it passes through the SiC layer, and reacts with the Si and the C to form CH4 (methane) and SiH4 (silane).

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  • Then, if you want completely pure silicon, all you have to do is pipe the silane to another reactor where you decompose it under high temperatures, thereby producing pure silicon and releasing the hydrogen to make more silane.

    The Case for Mars

  • Alternatively, instead of decomposing the silane, you can liquefy it by refrigerating it down to -112°C.

    The Case for Mars

  • Diborane, B2H6, will also burn in carbon dioxide, with a specific impulse of 300 seconds at a mixture ratio of three parts carbon dioxide to one part diborane.30 A diborane/carbon dioxide rocket hopper could thus have an effective specific impulse of 1,200 seconds, even better than the silane/carbon dioxide system discussed above.

    The Case for Mars

  • Not many things will burn in carbon dioxide, but silane will, in accordance with:

    The Case for Mars

  • At room temperature or above, silane is a gas, so it can easily be separated from hydrides of the other metals, all of which are solids.

    The Case for Mars

  • In reaction 8, 73 percent of the propellant mass is carbon dioxide, only 27 percent is silane.

    The Case for Mars


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