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Chlorosilane is a compound directly synthesized by the reaction of silicon powder and methyl chloride (CH3Cl) gas. It is active in nature and belongs to inorganic substances. The resulting methyl chlorosilanes (trimethyl, dimethyl and methyl chlorosilanes) are the basic components of various organosilicon substances, and the process is generally:

Synthesis of chlorosilanes from silicon

Chlorosilane is prepared by the reaction of silicon and methyl chloride, and it is an important precursor for the production of organic silicon. The silicon atom is bonded to the chlorine atom, and each chlorine atom can undergo a hydrolysis reaction, which can control the length and branching of the product. In the process of direct synthesis, there are three kinds of chlorosilanes that can usually be directly used in the production of silicone, as shown in the following figure:

Common substrates for the synthesis of complex organosilicon reagentsFigure 1. Common substrates for the synthesis of complex organosilicon reagents

Synthesis of basic silicone products from chlorosilanes

Chlorosilanes have many important chemical reaction sites, which can realize hydrolysis and polycondensation, and then realize the synthesis of other silicones, including silicone oil and silicone resin.

Extend the polymer chain by polycondensation

In order to synthesize silicone products with special properties, it is necessary to modify the reactive sites, that is, to make certain groups reactive groups (-H, CH=CH2, etc.) and non-reactive groups (-C6H5) etc.) are replaced.

The application

Chlorosilanes can react with many chemical reagents to obtain other organosilicon reagents, including:

  • Compounds containing active hydrogen react violently
  • Reaction with organometallic compounds, the chlorine atom is substituted to generate organochlorosilane and organosilane
  • Many chlorosilanes are intermediate products of other silicone products
  • An increasing number of reactions are used to develop classes of organosilicon reagents, such as the preparation of trifluoromethyl and difluoromethyl sulfides to give trifluoromethylsilane and difluoromethylsilane

A new method for synthesizing trifluoromethylsilane and difluoromethylsilaneFigure 2. A new method for synthesizing trifluoromethylsilane and difluoromethylsilane


Chlorosilanes are all irritating to a certain extent, and can cause respiratory inflammation at high concentrations, accompanied by dizziness, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, palpitation and other symptoms. If the skin comes into contact with chlorosilane, it needs to be treated with a large amount of running water for more than 15 minutes. Accidental fire, need to use dry powder fire extinguisher, foam fire extinguisher or carbon dioxide fire extinguisher.

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  1. Stephen P. W.; et al. Thermal decomposition pathways and rates for silane, chlorosilane, dichlorosilane, and trichlorosilane. J Phys Chem A. 2001, 105 (10): 2015–2022.
  2. Gluth. G. J. G.; et al. Geopolymerization of a silica residue from waste treatment of chlorosilane production. Materials and Structures. 2013, 46: 1291–1298.
  3. Braga. A.F.B.; et al. New processes for the production of solar-grade polycrystalline silicon: A review. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 2008, 92(4): 418-424.

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