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J-PARC Center resolves structure of orthosilicic acid, the extremely unstable basic structural element of glass and silicone

As orthosilicic acid, a basic element of glass, silicones and zeolites, is unstable in water and can not be isolated, it was synthesized in an amide solvent using a palladium/carbon catalyst for hydrocracking from a silicon compounds having 4 benzyloxy groups, obtaining orthosilicic acid at 96% yield. Orthosilicic acid was very stably in the absence of water, could be crystallized and subjected to x-ray structure analysis and neutron diffraction. The results are expected to help synthesize silicones of better controlled structure, leading to the manufacture of highly functional and high performance silicon materials.

Source: NEDO news release, July 27, 2017

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