Nanodusty plasma chemistry: a mechanistic and variational transition state theory study of the initial steps of silyl anion–silane and silylene anion–silane polymerization reactions†
The growth of nanodusty particles, which is critical in plasma chemistry, physics, and engineering. The aim of the present work is to understand the detailed reaction mechanisms of early steps in this growth. The polymerization of neutral silane with the silylene or silyl anion, which eliminates molecular hydrogen with the formation of their higher homologues, governs the silicon hydride clustering in nanodusty plasma chemistry. The detailed mechanisms of these important polymerization reactions in terms of elementary reactions have not been proposed yet. In the present work, we investigated the initial steps of these polymerization reactions, i.e., the SiH4 + Si2H4−/Si2H5− reactions, and we propose a three-step mechanism, which is also applicable to the following polymerization steps. CM5 charges of all the silicon-containing species were computed in order to analyze the character of the species in the proposed reaction mechanisms. We also calculated thermal rate constant of each step using multi-structural canonical variational transition state theory (MS-CVT) with the small-curvature tunneling (SCT) approximation, based on the minimum energy path computed using M08-HX/MG3S electronic structure method.