Volume 95 Issue 12 | p. 8 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 20, 2017

Silicon dioxide as a molecular reagent

Researchers isolate monomeric SiO2 in a complex for the first time, finally creating a way to incorporate the unit in organic synthesis
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Materials SCENE
Keywords: chemical bonding, silicon dioxide, carbon dioxide, transfer reagent

Carbon dioxide is a ubiquitous stable gaseous molecule with O=C=O bonding. Yet in one of the quirks of the periodic table, silicon dioxide—the next heaviest group 14 dioxide—is remarkably unstable as a monomeric species. There’s plenty of SiO2 around, but it forms network structures, for example in sand, held together by Si–O single bonds. Chemists have looked for the means to create molecules containing individual O=Si=O units and have come close . . .

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