August 2007


Silane (SiH4) was observed in IRC +10216 by Goldhaber & Betz in 1984 using the strong rotation-vibration transitions in a band near 917 cm-1. Subsequent confirmations of silane in IRC +10216 were made by Keady and Ridgway and Monnier et al. It has evidently not been observed in any other source.

Silane is a periodic cousin of methane and shares the same tetrahedral structure. It is used industrially for glass coatings and in semiconductor manufacture. It is pyrophoric: it combusts spontaneously in air at room temperature.

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