3-Chloropropyltrialkoxysilanes—Key Intermediates for the Commercial Production of Organofunctionalized Silanes and Polysiloxanes


  • Dedicated to Dr. Konard Henkel on the occasion of his 70th birthday


Silicon and carbon may be looked upon as the two fundamental antipodes with respect to the naturally occurring forms of matter and life on earth: Silicon plays the key role in the “petrification” of inanimate matter, while carbon is the representative element for the “incarnation” of living organisms. If a scientist were to search for a highly efficient method of uniting inorganic and organic matter, he would, at a very early stage of attempting to solve this problem, combine these two natural principles of matter and think of “bireactive” molecules containing a silicon functionality for bonding to inorganic material on the one hand and a carbon functionality for anchoring to an organic counterpart on the other. The title compounds and their derivatives epitomize such molecules: they are wanderers between both (chemical) worlds. Owing to their bifunctionality they are capable of binding to inorganic (especially siliceous) systems as well as to organic polymers. Whether their commercial application concerns the strengthening of polyester resins with glass fibers for use in boatbuilding or the incorporation of silica as a filler in rubber mixtures for the manufacture of wear-resistant tires or even the immobilization of enzymes on glass spheres for carrying out reactions in enzyme reactors—in all cases organofunctionalized silanes guarantee a reliable and permanent union between two otherwise “incompatible” material systems.