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Stannic chloride, also known as tin iv chloride pentahydrate or SnCl4, is a toxic and hazardous compound that must be handled with utmost care. It is dangerous to inhale or ingest, and even more so because it’s water soluble. This is why most companies don’t sell it to the general public and strictly limit sales to organizations or universities.
It is a strong reducing agent and can be easily oxidized by atmospheric oxygen. It is used in the preparation of tin-plating for tin cans and electrolytic baths.
As a crystalline solid, it has a regular tetrahedral structure with three coordinates (one water molecule per tin atom). The dihydrate has the same tetrahedral structure but is formed from one SnCl2 molecule with a water molecule sandwiched in between the tin atoms.
The liquid form of tin iv chloride is easily soluble in alcohols, benzene, gasoline, and other organic solvents. It’s also a conductive compound, which is useful in electronics.
Often referred to as stannous chloride, it can be obtained by heating chlorine gas with tin at 115 deg C or 239 deg F. It fumes when contacted with air and forms a white smoke.
It’s a common compound in the electronics industry as it conducts electricity well, making it a good choice for mass production of semiconductors. It also has several industrial uses as a catalyst and polymer stabilizer.
It is also a common compound in the textile dyeing industry, where it acts as a mordant and color stabilizer. It is used in a variety of dyes such as cochineal and indigo. It’s also commonly used as a mordant for silk and wool because it allows the dye to stay on longer.