Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Synthesis of pentacoordinate silicon complexes from SiO2

Abstract

THE potential role of inorganic and organometallic silicon compounds in the development of new chemical reagents, polymers, glasses and ceramics1 is limited at present by the paucity of simple silicon-containing starting materials. Whereas industrial carbon-based chemistry can draw on the diversity of compounds produced from crude oil, coal or other natural sources, silicon chemistry2 relies almost exclusively on the carbothermal reduction of SiO2 to silicon. This is then transformed into feedstock chemicals by reaction with HCl, or by routes such as the 'direct process' for making methylchlorosilanes2, in which silicon is reacted with methyl chloride at 200–350°C over a copper/tin catalyst. Organosilicon compounds are in demand in fields ranging from organic synthesis to ceramics to the electronics industry. New synthetic routes to these materials are therefore highly desirable, especially if they rely on low-cost SiO2 and on rocessing methods that avoid the energy-intensive and equipment-intensive carbothermal reduction step which currently precedes almost all silicon chemistry. Here we describe a direct process in which SiO2 is reacted with ethylene glycol and an alkali base to produce highly reactive, pentacoordinate silicates which provide access to a wide variety of new silicon compounds.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers with Special Properties (ed. Laine, R. M.) NATO ASI Series E: Appl. Sci., No. 30 (Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1991).

  2. Kirk-Othemer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, 3rd Ed., Vol. 20, 750–880 (Wiley-lnterscience, New York, 1979).

  3. Boudin, A., Cerveau, G., Chuit, C., Corriu, R. J. P. & Reye, C. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 25, 473–474 (1986).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Corriu, R. J. P., Perz, R. & Reye, C. Tetrahedron 39, 999 (1983).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Boudin, A., Cerveau, G., Chuit, C., Corriu, R. J. P. & Reye, C. Organomet. 7, 1165–1171 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Rosenheim, A., Raibmann, B. & Schendel, G. Z. anorg Chem. 196, 160 (1931).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Barnum, D. W. Inorg. Chem. 9, 1942 (1970).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Barnum, D. W. Inorg. Chem. 11, 1424 (1970).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Kenney, M. E. & Goodwin, G. B. US Patent No. 4,717,773 (January 1988).

  10. Frye, C. L. J. Am. chem. Soc. 92, 1205–1210 (1970).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Tandura, S. N., Voronkov, M. G. & Alekseev, N. V. Topics Curr. Chem. 131, 99–186 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Swamy, K. C. K. et al. J. Am. chem. Soc. 112, 2341–2348 (1990).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Holmes, R. R. Chem. Rev. 90, 17 (1990).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Holmes, R. R., Day, R. O. & Payne, J. S. Phos. Sulf. Silicon 42, 1–13 (1989).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Laine, R. M., Ray, D. J., Viney, C. & Robinson, T. R. Am. chem. Soc. Polym. Preprints 32, No. 3, 550 (1991).

    Google Scholar 

  16. Fujita, M. & Honda, K. Polymer Commun. 30, 200 (1989).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Spindler, R. & Shriver, D. F. J. Am. chem. Soc. 110, 3036 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Levin, E. M., Robbins, C. R. & McMurdie, H. F. Phase Diagrams for Ceramists, 5th Printing (eds. Reser, M. K.) 87–92 (American Ceramic Society, 1985).

    Google Scholar 

  19. Bickmore, C. R. et al. 5th Int. Conf. infrastructure Processing (eds Hench, L. L., West, J. K. & Ulrich, D. R.) (Wiley, New York, in the press).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Laine, R., Blohowiak, K., Robinson, T. et al. Synthesis of pentacoordinate silicon complexes from SiO2. Nature 353, 642–644 (1991). https://doi.org/10.1038/353642a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/353642a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing