So it’s been a while since my last post…I’ve been spending a lot of time learning the laser lab and reorganizing the ol’ disiloxane synthesis project. My biggest problem at the moment is getting my hands on a reliable supply of hydrogen iodide, which we use in turn to make silyl iodide using phenylsilane. Matheson TG has stopped selling it, probably because it wasn’t economically sound to offer it. During the synthesis I use, which involves red phosphorus, iodine, and water, unwanted byproducts tend to coat the iodine shards and insulate the valuable inner iodine from reacting. Thus, I decided I’m going to beat the hell out of the iodine, grounding it into a powder with a large surface area (and releasing some stored-up anger in the process).
The alternative to perfecting the syntheses of HI and silyl iodide is making a different halosilane from (pre-bought, hooray!) hydrogen bromide or chloride. The strange thing is, most of the halosilane literature I’ve looked at used silyl chloride or silyl bromide. Where my advisor got the idea for silyl iodide, I have no idea. Perhaps the disiloxane hydrolysis doesn’t work quite as well with bromide or chloride. Yet, hexamethyldisiloxane is made using silyl chloride.
Cloush is in Ohio for a conference this week. When the cat is away, the mice will play… 😀