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Tantalum Pentoxide

Tantalum Nanoparticles research has gained momentum over the recent years mainly due to the unexpected behavior of the basic elements when their atomic and molecular properties are altered. This article will look into the properties and applications of tantalum pentoxide.

Tantalum pentoxide, also known as tantalum (V) oxide, is the inorganic compound with the formula Ta2O5. It is a white solid that is insoluble in all solvents but is attacked by strong bases and hydrofluoric acid. Ta2O5 is an inert material with a high refractive index and low absorption (i.e. colorless), which makes it useful for coatings. It is also extensively used in the production of capacitors, due to its high dielectric constant.

Tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) nanoparticles are magnetic oxide nanoscale particles having a spherical form. These particles are available in coated, dispersed, nanofluid and ultra high purity forms. Tantalum belongs to Block D, Period 6 while oxygen belongs to Block P, Period 2 of the periodic table.

Tantalum Pentoxide

This transition metal oxide has replaced aluminum oxide in the capacitors, making them much smaller and lighter. To a lesser extent, this compound is also used in high refractive index glass and as a catalyst, but the main use of tantalum oxide and tantalum metal is as constituents in capacitors.

Ta2O5 emerged in the seventies, mainly due to its promising properties as an antireflective layer for optical or photovoltaic applications. During the following decade, a few studies explored different ways to obtain stable oxide layers and their potential applications. However, the real emergence of tantalum pentoxide as a dielectric material happened during the last decade primarily because of an exceptional effort in the development of electronics devices using tantalum oxide films as dielectric layers.

Properties of tantalum pentoxide

Tantalum is not found in its pure state. Rather, it is commonly found in a number of oxide minerals, often in combination with Columbium ore. This combination is known as "tantalite" when its contents are more than one-half tantalum.

Chemical Symbol Ta2O5
Molar Mass 441.83 g/mol
Melting point 1872 ° C
Solubility in water Negligible
Density 8.2 g/cm3
Electronic config. [Xe]4f 145d26s2 [He] 2s2p4

The properties of pure bulk tantalum pentoxide are of interest because of the increased use of tantalum metal and tantalum pentoxide in electronic applications. Preliminary x-ray diffraction studies of tantalum pentoxide have been performed and it has been found to occur in two forms: a high-temperature form, ?- Ta2O5, whose transition temperature from the low-temperature form, ?- Ta2O5 is about 1340 °C. The reverse transformation takes place slowly enough that if a sample of, ?- Ta2O5 is held at a temperature above 1340 °C till the sample transforms entirely to ?- Ta2O5 and then is quenched to below 500°C it will remain as ?-Ta2O5 indefinitely. Because of this, attempts to grow crystals of Ta2O5 by the flame-fusion method have resulted in the production of boules of ?-Ta2O5 and not, ?-Ta2O5

Applications of Tantalum

Electronic applications, and particularly capacitors, consume the largest share of world tantalum production. Other important applications for tantalum include cutting tools (tantalum carbide), high temperature super alloys, chemical processing equipment, medical implants, and military ordnance.

Tantalum electrolytic capacitors are the preferred choice in applications where volumetric efficiency, stable electrical parameters, high reliability and long service life are the primary considerations. The stability and resistance to elevated temperatures of the tantalum/tantalum oxide system make wet tantalum capacitors an appropriate choice for today’s technology.

Nanoshel is a major user of tantalum materials in the form of powder and wire for capacitor elements and rod and sheet for high temperature vacuum processing. Tantalum pentoxide is widely used in capacitors; tantalum capacitors are basic to all kinds of electrical equipment from satellites, aerospace, airborne, military ground support, oil exploration and power supplies.

Owing to its high band gap and dielectric constant, tantalum pentoxide has found a variety of uses in electronics, particularly in tantalum capacitors. These are used in automotive electronics, cell phones, and pagers, electronic circuitry; thin-film components; and high-speed tools. In the 1990s, interest grew in the use of tantalum oxide as a high dielectric for DRAM capacitor applications.

It is used in on-chip metal-insulator-metal capacitors for high frequency CMOS integrated circuits. Tantalum oxide may have applications as the charge trapping layer for Non-volatile memories. There are applications of tantalum oxide in resistive switching memories.

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