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Sulfur monoxide is an inorganic compound with formulaSO. It is only found as a dilute gas phase. When concentrated or condensed, it converts to S2O2 (disulfur dioxide). It has been detected in space but is rarely encountered intact otherwise.
Structure and bonding
The SO molecule has a triplet ground state similar to O2 and S2, that is, each molecule has two unpaired electrons. The S-O bond length of 148.1 pm is similar to that found in lower sulfur oxides (e.g. S8O, S-O = 148 pm) but is longer than the S-O bond in gaseous S2O (146 pm), SO2 (143.1 pm) and SO3 (142 pm).
The molecule is excited with near infrared radiation to the singlet state (with no unpaired electrons). The singlet state is believed to be more reactive than the ground triplet state, in the same way that singlet oxygen is more reactive than triplet oxygen.
Production and reactions
Production of SO as a reagent in organic syntheses has centred on using compounds that "extrude" SO. Examples include the decomposition of the relatively simple molecule ethylene episulfoxide: as well as more complex examples, such as a trisulfide oxide, C10H6S3O.
C2H4SO -> C2H4 + SO
The SO molecule is thermodynamically unstable, converting initially to S2O2.
SO inserts into alkenes, alkynes and dienes producing thiiranes, molecules with three-membered rings containing sulfur.
Because of sulfur monoxide's rare occurrence in our atmosphere and poor stability, it is difficult to fully determine its hazards. But when condensed and compacted, it forms disulfur dioxide, which is relatively toxic and corrosive. This compound is also highly flammable (similar flammability to methane) and when burned produces sulfur dioxide, a poisonous gas.
SO converts to disulfur dioxide (S2O2). Disulfur dioxide is a planar molecule with C2vsymmetry. The S-O bond length is 145.8 pm, shorter than in the monomer, and the S-S bond length is 202.45 pm. The O-S-S angle is 112.7°. S2O2 has a dipole moment of 3.17 D.
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