Silane Chemistry

The basic building block of silicon chemistry, silanes are monomeric silicon compounds with four substituent groups attached to the silicon atom.  These substituent groups can be nearly any combination of nonreactive, inorganically reactive, or organically reactive groups. 

Inorganic reactivity represents the covalent bonds formed through oxygen to the silicon atom to form a siloxane type of bond.

Organic reactivity occurs on the organic portion of the molecule and does not directly involve the silicon atom.

This large number of possible combinations explains silicon’s versatility and its ability to be used in a variety of ways with carbon-based chemicals.

Silicon is a major constituent of sand and rocks – very durable inorganic materials. Silicon will bond tenaciously to other inorganics such as glass and steel.  Silicon will bond tenaciously to organic polymers as well when an organic group, such as aminopropyl, is attached to the silicon.  This is because the reactivity of organic groups attached to silicon is similar to organic analogs in carbon chemistry.

Special characteristics can be added to the silicon molecule by adding non-reactive groups, such as methyl, the higher alkyls, phenyl and trifluoropropyl.

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