| IUPAC name
| Preferred IUPAC name
| Systematic IUPAC name
| Other names
|Molar mass||254.23 g/mol|
|Appearance||White volatile solid|
|Melting point||40.25 °C (104.45 °F; 313.40 K)|
|Boiling point||129.7 °C (265.5 °F; 402.8 K)|
| 5.70 g/100 ml (10 °C)|
6.23 g/100 ml (25 °C)
|Solubility||Very soluble in aq. ammonia, benzene, t-butanol, diethyl ether, ethanol, phosphoryl chloride, sulfuric acid|
|Solubility in carbon tetrachloride||375 g/100 ml|
|Vapor pressure||7 mmHg (20 °C)|
Std enthalpy of
|Safety data sheet||Sigma-Aldrich|
Except where otherwise noted, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C [77 °F], 100 kPa).
Osmium tetroxide (or osmium(VIII) oxide) is the chemical compound with the formula OsO4, the most important oxide of osmium metal, due to is variety of uses in organic chemistry.
OsO4 is a Lewis acid and a mild oxidant. It reacts with alkaline aqueous solution to give the perosmate anion OsO
Osmium tetraoxide is moderately soluble in water, with which it reacts reversibly to form osmic acid.
Osmium tetroxide, it is readily reduced by hydrogen in solution to osmium metal. Most organic materials will also reduce it.
Osmium tetroxide is a white to slight yellowish solid, volatile, with an acrid chlorine-like odor.
Osmium tetroxide is sold by chemical suppliers, but due to its toxicity it's not easy to acquire, and most companies might not sell to the public, especially due to its high toxicity.
OsO4 is formed slowly when osmium powder reacts with oxygen at ambient temperature.
Reaction of bulk solid requires heating to above 400 °C, and is also very slow.
- Oxidize alkenes to the vicinal diols
- Lemieux–Johnson oxidation
- Compound collecting
OsO4 is highly poisonous, even at low exposure levels, and must be handled with appropriate precautions. In particular, inhalation at concentrations well below those at which a smell can be perceived can lead to pulmonary edema and subsequent death. Noticeable symptoms can take hours to appear after exposure.
OsO4 also stains the human cornea, which can lead to blindness if proper safety precautions are not observed. The permissible exposure limit for osmium(VIII) oxide (8 hour time-weighted average) is 200 µg/m3. Osmium(VIII) oxide can penetrate plastics and therefore is stored in glass under refrigeration.
Osmium tetroxide must be kept in ampoules, and kept in a fridge or freezer. This compound must only be handled in a well ventilated area, or in a glovebox.
Any reducing agent will convert it to the less harmful osmium metal. Since the metal is very expensive, it's best to recycle it.
- Nikol'skii, A. B.; Ryabov, A. N.; Zhurnal Neorganicheskoi Khimii; vol. 10; (1965); p. 1 - 5; Zhurnal Neorganicheskoi Khimii; vol. 10; (1965); p. 3 - 9