Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Silicon Nitride

  • William M. Irvine
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1801-4




The diatomic radical SiN is referred to by astronomers as silicon nitride, although that nomenclature is used by chemists for Si3N4, which is a solid at room temperature and which has been found in meteorites. Gas phase SiN has been detected by radio astronomers in both the envelopes expelled by evolved stars and in the molecular clouds toward the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It has been suggested that the SiN in the interstellar medium is produced by gas phase chemistry after silicon has been released from interstellar dust grains by sputtering in shocks.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Silicon Nitride Interstellar Medium Molecular Cloud Phase Chemistry 
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  1. Schilke P, Leurini S, Menten KM, Alcolea J (2003) Interstellar SiN. Astron Astrophys 412:L15–L18CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Turner BE (1992) Detection of SiN in IRC+10216. Astrophys J 388:L35–L38CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AstronomyUniversity of Massachusetts, Lederle Graduate Research Tower B 619EAmherstUSA