We switched out the broken laser with another one and output power improved dramatically. I think the dye may be degrading, but the physics post-doc doesn’t have a clue…does anyone out there know anything about the lifetimes of laser dyes (particularly rhodamine 590)? Now, of course, the frequency doubler output power is too low. I left the post-doc to work on that one and ran an SiH3I synthesis.
This synthesis is part of the original project I was given as an undergraduate researcher. I’m supposed to make silyl ether, (SiH3)2O, from silyl iodide and water, but I have to make the silyl iodide myself from phenylsilane and hydrogen iodide:
C6H5SiH3 + HI –> C6H6 + SiH3I (195 K)
And the hydrogen iodide from iodine, water, and red phosphorus:
8 H2O + 5 I2 + 2 P –> 10 HI + H3PO4 (RT)
I’ve grown to despise these reactions, but watching the post-doc tinker with the laser is just that dull.