Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In chemistry, nitrogen triiodide, also called nitrogen iodide, is a highly explosive compound of nitrogen and iodine, NI3. Being a contact explosive, small quantities explode with a gunpowder-like snap when touched by even a feather, releasing a volatile cloud of iodine vapor. The decomposition of nitrogen triiodide occurs via the following reaction:
- 2NI3 (s) → N2 (g) + 3I2 (g)
Nitrogen triiodide should be handled with extreme caution, as the dry compound explodes spontaneously. An ammonia complex of NI3 can be synthesized by reacting iodine with ammonia, NH3, by soaking iodine crystals in an ammonia solution. While still wet, nitrogen triiodide is safer to handle than the dry compound, but is still prone to spontaneous explosion.
- See the explosion (requires the Quicktime plugin)
- Nitrogen Tri-Iodide - explains why the compound is explosive
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