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Silanes refers to diverse organosilicon charge-neutral compounds with the formula SiR
. The R substituents can any combination of organic [1] or inorganic groups. [2] Most silanes contain Si-C bonds, and are discussed under organosilicon compounds. Some contain Si-H bonds and are discussed under hydrosilanes.



By tradition, compounds with Si-O-Si bonds are usually not referred to as silanes. Instead, they are called siloxanes. One example is hexamethyldisiloxane, ((CH

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Silane is an inorganic compound with chemical formula, SiH4. It is a colourless, pyrophoric, toxic gas with a sharp, repulsive smell, somewhat similar to that of acetic acid. Silane is of practical interest as a precursor to elemental silicon. Silane with alkyl groups are effective water repellents for mineral surfaces such as concrete and masonry. Silanes with both organic and inorganic attachments are used as coupling agents.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trichlorosilane</span> Chemical compound

Trichlorosilane is an inorganic compound with the formula HCl3Si. It is a colourless, volatile liquid. Purified trichlorosilane is the principal precursor to ultrapure silicon in the semiconductor industry. In water, it rapidly decomposes to produce a siloxane polymer while giving off hydrochloric acid. Because of its reactivity and wide availability, it is frequently used in the synthesis of silicon-containing organic compounds.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Silanol</span> Si–OH functional group in silicon chemistry

A silanol is a functional group in silicon chemistry with the connectivity Si–O–H. It is related to the hydroxy functional group (C–O–H) found in all alcohols. Silanols are often invoked as intermediates in organosilicon chemistry and silicate mineralogy. If a silanol contains one or more organic residue, it is an organosilanol.

Silicon tetrachloride or tetrachlorosilane is the inorganic compound with the formula SiCl4. It is a colourless volatile liquid that fumes in air. It is used to produce high purity silicon and silica for commercial applications. It's part chlorosilane family.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Silylene</span> Chemical compound

Silylene is a chemical compound with the formula SiH2. It is the silicon analog of methylene, the simplest carbene. Silylene is a stable molecule as a gas but rapidly reacts in a bimolecular manner when condensed. Unlike carbenes, which can exist in the singlet or triplet state, silylene (and all of its derivatives) are singlets.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Siloxane</span> Si–O–Si chemical bond

A siloxane is a functional group in organosilicon chemistry with the Si−O−Si linkage. The parent siloxanes include the oligomeric and polymeric hydrides with the formulae H(OSiH2)nOH and (OSiH2)n. Siloxanes also include branched compounds, the defining feature of which is that each pair of silicon centres is separated by one oxygen (O2-) atom. The siloxane functional group forms the backbone of silicones, the premier example of which is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). The functional group R3SiO− (where the three Rs may be different) is called siloxy. Siloxanes are manmade and have many commercial and industrial applications because of the compounds’ hydrophobicity, low thermal conductivity, and high flexibility.

The Hiyama coupling is a palladium-catalyzed cross-coupling reaction of organosilanes with organic halides used in organic chemistry to form carbon–carbon bonds. This reaction was discovered in 1988 by Tamejiro Hiyama and Yasuo Hatanaka as a method to form carbon-carbon bonds synthetically with chemo- and regioselectivity. The Hiyama coupling has been applied to the synthesis of various natural products.

Chlorosilanes are a group of reactive, chlorine-containing chemical compounds, related to silane and used in many chemical processes. Each such chemical has at least one silicon-chlorine bond. Trichlorosilane is produced on the largest scale. The parent chlorosilane is silicon tetrachloride.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Organosilicon chemistry</span> Organometallic compound containing carbon–silicon bonds

Organosilicon compounds are organometallic compounds containing carbon–silicon bonds. Organosilicon chemistry is the corresponding science of their preparation and properties. Most organosilicon compounds are similar to the ordinary organic compounds, being colourless, flammable, hydrophobic, and stable to air. Silicon carbide is an inorganic compound.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Binary silicon-hydrogen compounds</span>

Silanes are saturated chemical compounds with the empirical formula SixHy. They are hydrosilanes, a class of compounds that includes compounds with Si-H and other Si-X bonds. All contain tetrahedral silicon and terminal hydrides. They only have Si–H and Si–Si single bonds. The bond lengths are 146.0 pm for a Si–H bond and 233 pm for a Si–Si bond. The structures of the silanes are analogues of the alkanes, starting with silane, SiH
, the analogue of methane, continuing with disilane Si
, the analogue of ethane, etc. They are mainly of theoretical or academic interest.

Hydrosilylation, also called catalytic hydrosilation, describes the addition of Si-H bonds across unsaturated bonds. Ordinarily the reaction is conducted catalytically and usually the substrates are unsaturated organic compounds. Alkenes and alkynes give alkyl and vinyl silanes; aldehydes and ketones give silyl ethers. Hydrosilylation has been called the "most important application of platinum in homogeneous catalysis."

Hydrosilanes are tetravalent silicon compounds containing one or more Si-H bond. The parent hydrosilane is silane (SiH4). Commonly, hydrosilane refers to organosilicon derivatives. Examples include phenylsilane (PhSiH3) and triethoxysilane ((C2H5O)3SiH). Polymers and oligomers terminated with hydrosilanes are resins that are used to make useful materials like caulks.

Dimethyldichlorosilane is a tetrahedral, organosilicon compound with the formula Si(CH3)2Cl2. At room temperature it is a colorless liquid that readily reacts with water to form both linear and cyclic Si-O chains. Dimethyldichlorosilane is made on an industrial scale as the principal precursor to dimethylsilicone and polysilane compounds.

The direct process, also called the direct synthesis, Rochow process, and Müller-Rochow process is the most common technology for preparing organosilicon compounds on an industrial scale. It was first reported independently by Eugene G. Rochow and Richard Müller in the 1940s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Silicon tetrabromide</span> Chemical compound

Silicon tetrabromide, also known as tetrabromosilane, is the inorganic compound with the formula SiBr4. This colorless liquid has a suffocating odor due to its tendency to hydrolyze with release of hydrogen bromide. The general properties of silicon tetrabromide closely resemble those of the more commonly used silicon tetrachloride.

Polysilicon hydrides are polymers containing only silicon and hydrogen. They have the formula where 0.2 ≤ n ≤ 2.5 and x is the number of monomer units. The polysilicon hydrides are generally colorless or pale-yellow/ocher powders that are easily hydrolyzed and ignite readily in air. The surfaces of silicon prepared by MOCVD using silane (SiH4) consist of a polysilicon hydride.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polysilane</span>

Polysilanes are organosilicon compounds with the formula (R2Si)n. They are relatives of traditional organic polymers but their backbones are composed of silicon atoms. They exhibit distinctive optical and electrical properties. They are mainly used industrially as precursors to silicon carbide. The simplest polysilane would be (SiH2)n, which is mainly of theoretical, not practical interest.

Chlorotrifluorosilane is an inorganic gaseous compound with formula SiClF3 composed of silicon, fluorine and chlorine. It is a silane that substitutes hydrogen with fluorine and chlorine atoms.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tris(trimethylsilyl)silane</span> Chemical compound

Tris(trimethylsilyl)silane is the organosilicon compound with the formula (Me3Si)3SiH (where Me = CH3). It is a colorless liquid that is classified as a hydrosilane since it contains an Si-H bond. The compound is notable as having a weak Si-H bond, with a bond dissociation energy estimated at 84 kcal/mol. For comparison, the Si-H bond in trimethylsilane is 94 kcal/mol. With such a weak bond, the compound is used as a reagent to deliver hydrogen atoms. The compound has been described as an environmentally benign analogue of tributyltin hydride.

In chemistry, transition metal silyl complexes describe coordination complexes in which a transition metal is bonded to an anionic silyl ligand, forming a metal-silicon sigma bond. This class of complexes are numerous and some are technologically significant as intermediates in hydrosilylation. These complexes are a subset of organosilicon compounds.


  1. Elschenbroich, C. (2016) [2006]. Organometallics (3rd ed.). Wiley. ISBN   978-3-527-80514-3.
  2. Simmler, W. "Silicon Compounds, Inorganic". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry . Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a24_001.