Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2016 Oct 10;55(42):13019-13022. doi: 10.1002/anie.201605986.

A Non-Exploding Alkali Metal Drop on Water: From Blue Solvated Electrons to Bursting Molten Hydroxide.

Author information

1
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Flemingovo nám. 2, 16610, Prague 6, Czech Republic.
2
Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Hans-Sommer-Strasse 10, 38106, Braunschweig, Germany.
3
Institut für Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Hans-Sommer-Strasse 10, 38106, Braunschweig, Germany. s.bauerecker@tu-braunschweig.de.
4
Institute of Physics and Technology, National Research Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, 634050, Russia. s.bauerecker@tu-braunschweig.de.
5
Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Flemingovo nám. 2, 16610, Prague 6, Czech Republic. Pavel.Jungwirth@uochb.cas.cz.

Abstract

Alkali metals in water are always at the brink of explosion. Herein, we show that this vigorous reaction can be kept in a non-exploding regime, revealing a fascinating richness of hitherto unexplored chemical processes. A combination of high-speed camera imaging and visible/near-infrared/infrared spectroscopy allowed us to catch and characterize the system at each stage of the reaction. After gently placing a drop of a sodium/potassium alloy on water under an inert atmosphere, the production of solvated electrons became so strong that their characteristic blue color could be observed with the naked eye. The exoergic reaction leading to the formation of hydrogen and hydroxide eventually heated the alkali metal drop such that it became glowing red, and part of the metal evaporated. As a result of the reaction, a perfectly transparent drop consisting of molten hydroxide was temporarily stabilized on water through the Leidenfrost effect, bursting spectacularly after it had cooled sufficiently.

KEYWORDS:

Leidenfrost effect; alkali metals; solvated electrons; water

PMID:
27489173
DOI:
10.1002/anie.201605986

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center