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Carbon Subselenides

Carbon Subselenides of compositions C4Se and C5Se2 have been described. When amorphous red selenium is distilled with carbon tetrabromide, in the molecular proportions 2:1, the greyish-black residue obtained after treatment with carbon disulphide, phenol, alcohol and ether in succession, has the composition C9Br2Se4. This substance when heated with a very concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide forms the selenide C4Se, a compound which dissolves with difficulty in concentrated sulphuric acid to give a light brown solution. If the sodium hydroxide solution of the bromoselenide is treated with hydrochloric acid, a violet-brown precipitate of the compound C5Se2 is obtained, which readily dissolves in hot concentrated sulphuric acid to give a reddish- brown solution.

The phenol extract of the residue from the foregoing distillation, on boiling with aqueous alcohol gives a brown, flocculent precipitate, of composition C10BrSe5, and this when boiled with concentrated sodium hydroxide also yields the selenide C5Se2.

Other bromoselenides obtained by the interaction of selenium and carbon tetrabromide are stated to have the following compositions: C3BrSe3.3H2O, red crystals with a metallic lustre, 120° C.; C3Br2Se2, orange-coloured solid, 210° to 212° C.; C2Br2Se4, brownish-red leaflets, 154° C.
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