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Frequently Asked Questions

Binary Compound Finder Synthlet


Feel free to play around and theoretically synthesize more than 600 main group binaries using the Synthlet below and so search for corresponding real substances in the Chemical Thesaurus database & Wikipedia.



Calculated/predicted stoichiometric formula = NaF
Calculated/predicted name: Sodium fluoride

Actual binary compounds, from the Chemical Thesaurus database:

Name
Structure
More Information
Sodium fluoride
Please understand that just because the Synthlet predicts a compound's stoichiometry and name, it does not mean that the compound always exists, that the common or usual name is always constructed or that there is only one binary compound. While most of the predictions are correct, it is the "incorrect" 10% that makes main group chemistry so interesting!

The Binary Compound Synthlet uses the common or lower valency and electronegativity to predict the stoichiometry of the binary compound. For example, electropositive aluminium (valency = 3) reacts with electronegative oxygen (valency 2) to give aluminium oxide: Al2O3.

The Synthlet uses four rules to to construct the name:

  • Both elements the same: Element
  • One of the elements is He, Ne, Ar or Kr: No binary forms
  • Metal + non-metal and non-metal + non-metal: electropositive element followed by electronegative element: Sodium oxide
  • Metal + metal: Binary alloy
  • Nature is subtle and the rather simple binary construction logic does make "mistakes", howver, the actual compounds are found in the database and wikipedia searches:
Lithium carbide Li + C gives Li2C2 (lithium acetylide) not the predicted Li4C
Boron carbide B + C gives B4C not the predicted B4C3
Lithium boride Li + B gives Li2B3, LiB2 & LiB0.8-1.0, not the predictes Li3B
Lithium-Sodium alloy Li does not alloy with Na, K Rb or Cs due to its small atimic radius, but it does alloy with Al
CH4, Methane The predicted name is Hydrogen carbide


Binary Compounds
Electronegativity

© Mark R. Leach 1999-


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