Zone Refining

Zone refining is a technique used to reduce the level of impurities in certain metals, alloys, semiconductors, and other materials. It is based on the observation that the solubility of an impurity may be different in the liquid and solid phases of a material. To take advantage of this observation, a narrow molten zone is moved along the length of a specimen of the material, with the result that the impurities are segregated at one end of the bar and the pure material at the other. In general, if the impurities lower the melting point of the material they are moved in the same direction as the molten zone moves, and vice versa.

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Subjects: Chemistry Materials