Sciencemadness Discussion Board

classification of nitrogen triiodide monoammine

mastermindg - 7-9-2002 at 20:36

would nitrogen triiodide monammine (incredibly sensitive purple touch explosive) be classified as a low, primary, secondary, or high explosive? im just wondering, because it seems to detonate with great force, without deflagrating, but is extremely sensitive. im thinking primary, though i dont see much use for it due to sensitivity! :D just wondering..

Ramiel - 7-9-2002 at 20:55

If you mean "ammonium tri-iodide", made by soaking I2 in ammonia solution... Then I believe it is a high explosive, if only that it decomposes rapidly.

ammonium tri-iodide: MF=NI3
nitrogen tri-iodide monamine: MF=NI3NH2 ??

madscientist - 7-9-2002 at 21:02

Nitrogen triiodide is a primary explosive.

Ramiel - 7-9-2002 at 21:08

In my experience it doesn't react very much to heat.


PrimoPyro - 8-9-2002 at 04:53

"Nitrogen triiodide monoamine" is a bogus name, that exact compound does not exist. If a compound does indeed exist under this identity, it is severely misnamed.

"Ammonium triiodide" is also a misnomer for this compound. I know it is very commonly used, but technically, it is wrong.

Nitrogen triiodide = NI3
Ammonium Triiodide = NH4+I3-

Ammonium triiodide would only exist in solution, ionically, because the triiodide ion only exists in solution to my knowledge.

An analogy would be the compound sodium triiodide, NaI3, which also only exists in solution. It is made by reaction of NaI with I2 in alcohol of aqueous (or both) solutions. It is used every day to increase the iodine solubility in ethanol, to make tincture of iodine.

Iodine itself is only sparingly soluble in ethanol, but triiodide ion is pretty soluble in it, so they add either NaI or KI to the solution to produce the triiodide ion to solvate the I2 more efficiently.

Ammonium triiodide would technically be the combination of the ammonium ion, NH4+ and the triiodide ion, I3-, to form NH4I3, but only in solution. This must be especially true for ammonia, because where Na or K atoms cannot be iodinated beyond a single ionic bond, the ammonia molecule can.

Absence or removal of solution would destroy (most of) the triiodide ion, giving free I2 which as you know reacts with NH3 to form NI3, which is nonionic and does not form ammonium-like ions, and thus cannot form salts.

I've made my case, ammonium triiodide is commonly used, but is still incorrect nonetheless. Hold yourselves to higher standards and use the correct term, nitrogen triiodide. :)


Name trouble again...sigh

vulture - 9-9-2002 at 01:16

Arrggh. I sometimes could kill those people who invented al these meaningless trivials for chemical compounds! Just use the appropriate name, that would spare us lot's of time on forums like these...

Anyways, I think there's a slight misunderstanding and/or misinterpretation.

When you synthesize NI3 from ammonia and KI.I2 solution, you never get pure NI3, but a mixture of NH2I, NHI2 and NI3, commonly referred to as NI3. n NH3.

Trivial chemical names

Polverone - 9-9-2002 at 14:56

Personally, I love the archaic and/or unstandardized names for chemicals that exist. IUPAC is my last resort. Let's heard it for acetic acid, salt of Saturn, and dephlogisticated air! These names may not give you an instant structural picture in your head, but they are so rich with history that it seems a shame for them to fall into complete disuse. In addition, you'll need to know them if you want to read old chemistry books like I enjoy doing. :P

Ramiel - 16-9-2002 at 06:19

I take it you don't do history?

vulture - 16-9-2002 at 07:03

Is that directed to me? N, I don't study history, I study chemistry!
Note that I pointed out Meaningless names, I have nothing against trivial names if they are useful, but since members are from different countries where trivials are often different, this often leads to confusion.
I do know trivial names and I also enjoy reading chemistry books which use them.

Psycho - 20-9-2002 at 19:05

Ramiel - 21-9-2002 at 04:50

Actually I was talking to polverone.

Marvin - 13-10-2002 at 19:43

The ppt you get when you add a solution of iodine to ammonia is (NI3.NH3)n, it seems to be loss of ammonia that makes it more sensative. Its effectivly a crosslinked polymer (Think bakelite) which is why its solid, and has very low solubility. The structure is described as the following "[the lattice] contains zigzag chains of NI4 tetrahedra sharing corners, with NH3 molecules lying between the chains and linking them together; NI3.3NH3 is similar." NI3.3NH3 can be prepaired in liquid ammonia.

Nitrogen triiodide monoamine to describe the compound of formula NI3.NH3 is as good a name as any for the black ppt. Its a primary high explosive. When dry/ammonia short its as sensative as hell, and impossible to store, but its not a very powerful explosive and its a really crappy initiator.

If made in small amounts its pretty safe and not toxic, unless you are allergic to iodine. Making this teaches you things you dont learn otherwise, importantly respect for the compounds. I think everyone wanting to start with energetic compounds should start with small amounts of this.

I have read claims of having made NI3 without ammonia from a TM complex, but Ive lost that info for the time being.

havokane - 16-7-2006 at 15:55

ok, so when you put idoine crystals in clear ammonia, you get ammonium tri-iodide, correct? well, what if i mix liquid iodine with the clear ammonia, paint it on something, and let it dry. is it still an impact sensitive explosive?

also, will betadine work instead of iodine? betadine is a more refined iodine, correct?

Jdurg - 16-7-2006 at 18:14

Originally posted by havokane
ok, so when you put idoine crystals in clear ammonia, you get ammonium tri-iodide, correct? well, what if i mix liquid iodine with the clear ammonia, paint it on something, and let it dry. is it still an impact sensitive explosive?

also, will betadine work instead of iodine? betadine is a more refined iodine, correct?

Iodine is an element on the periodic table. You can not get any more refined and still have it be iodine. Betadine is not iodine. It is an antiseptic made with iodine that is biologically more "potent" than elemental iodine is. It will not work in making nitrogen triiodide.

When you mix iodine with aqueous ammonia you do NOT get ammonium-triiodide. Reading through this thread you will see that the compound you want to make is NI3.nNH3 which is nitrogen triiodide n-Amine where n is any random number of ammonia molecules. Ammonium triiodide is the species NH4I3 which is not explosive and does not exist outside of aqueous solution.

Also, liquid iodine only exists under pressure, and if you try to "paint" with liquid iodine the I2 will rapidly sublimate/evaporate away leaving you with nothing. So no, your idea will not work.

Marvin - 18-7-2006 at 08:58

Nitrogen tri-iodide monoamine is probably the most accurate name. It has a definate structure, its a solid polymer and the reason the preperation and properties differ from those of the nitrogen chlorides and bromides.

A solution of iodine in alcohol will produce a precipitate with ammonia solution, but not in high yeild.