Chemical elements
  Silicon
    Isotopes
    Energy
    Physical Properties
    Chemical Properties
      Silicon Tetrahydride
      Silicomethane
      Silicane
      Silico-ethane
      Silico-acetylene
      Bromosilicane
      Silicofluoroform
      Trifluorosilicane
      Silicochloroform
      Trichlorosilicane
      Silicobromoform
      Tribromosilicane
      Silico-iodoform
      Tri-iodosilicane
      Silicon Tetrafluoride
      Hydrofluosilicic Acid
      Silicon Subfluoride
      Silicon Tetrachloride
      Tetrachlorosilicane
      Silicon Tetrabromide
      Tetrabromosilicane
      Silicon Tetra-iodide
      Tetra-iodosilicane
      Mixed Halides of Silicon
      Halogen Derivatives of Silico-ethane
      Halogen Derivatives of Silicopropane
      Halogen Derivatives of Silicobutane
      Halogen Derivatives of Silicopentane and Silicohexane
      Silicon Oxychlorides
      Silica
      Silicon Dioxide
      Silicates
      Silicoformic Anhydride
      Silico-oxalic Acid
      Silicomes-oxalic Acid
      Silicon Disulphide
      Silicon Monosulphide
      Silicon Oxysulphide
      Silicon Thiochloride
      Silicon Thiobromide
      Silicon Chloroitydrosulphide
      Silicothio-urea
      Silicon Selenide
      Silicon Tetramide
      Silicon Di-imide
      Silicon Nitrimide
      Silicam
      Siliconitrogen Hydride
      Silicon Nitrides
      Crystalline Silicon Monocarbide
      Carborundum
      Silicon Dicarbide
      Silicon Carboxide
      Borides of Silicon
    PDB 1fuq-4ehr

Silicon Oxychlorides






Of the oxyhalides of silicon which might be expected to exist, several oxychlorides alone have been obtained, and of these the simplest, SiOCl2, is unknown. Our knowledge of silicon oxychlorides is due to the researches of Friedel and Ladenburg, and of Troost and Hautefeuille, and the subject appears scarcely to have been investigated since 1881.

The following oxychlorides have been prepared, the molecular formulae of several of them having been established by vapour-density determinations:

Boiling-point.Vapour Density. (Air = 1.)
Si2OCl6137-13810.05 (theory = 9.86)
Si4O3Cl10152-154?
Si4O4Cl8198-20215.5 (theory = 15.9)
Si8O10Cl12c. 30031.2 (theory = 28.0)
(Si2O3Cl2)nabove 400-
(Si4O7Cl2)nabove 440-


The oxychloride Si2OCl6 is formed when a mixture of chlorine and oxygen is passed over crystallised silicon heated to 800° C., when the vapour of silicon tetrachloride is passed over felspar heated to whiteness in a porcelain tube, and by the interaction of silicon tetrachloride and sulphur trioxide at 50° C.:

2SiCl4 + 2SO3 = Si2OCl6 + S2O5Cl2.

It is a colourless liquid which fumes in the air and reacts with water, forming hydrochloric and silicic acids, whilst with alcohol, and also with zinc ethyl, it yields the ester Si2O(OC2H5)6. The higher oxy-chlorides were obtained by passing this oxychloride over heated felspar, or by leading a mixture of it and oxygen through a red-hot porcelain tube, the product being then submitted to fractional distillation.

All of these oxychlorides consist of polymerised SiO2 molecules, some of whose oxygen atoms have been replaced by atoms of chlorine. Moreover, they contain chains or rings of alternative silicon and oxygen atoms thus:



which aye so characteristic of the element silicon, especially in the natural silicates. Although there is no evidence as to the actual constitution of these compounds, it is reasonable to suppose that Si4O4Cl8 possesses a cyclic constitution, to which, it is interesting to note, a phenyl derivative prepared by Kipping from SiCl4 corresponds:

silicon oxychloride Phenyl analogue of silicon oxychloride

Si4O3Cl10, however, is most easily represented as a chain compound: Cl3Si-O-SiCl2-O-SiCl2-O-SiCl3, while Si8O10Cl12 may possibly consist of two eight-membered rings linked through oxygen, thus:



Whether these constitutional formulae adequately represent the facts or not, it is plain that the existence of these complex oxychlorides is connected with that of the similarly complex silicic acids of which the natural silicates are salts.


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