Functionalized Sila-Adamantane


The carbon based adamantane has enabled a myriad of valuable applications in medicine, imaging probes, catalysts, etc. because chemists have been able to install site selective functional groups. The silicon version of adamantane, sila-adamantane shares similar fundamental properties that make it useful. Despite its promise, the development of silicon diamondoids has remained in its infancy because of the difficulty in its synthesis.


Prof. Timothy Su and his research team have developed a novel, patent pending method for the gram-scale synthesis and its regioselective functionalization at five discrete silicon centers within its core. These syntheses are guided by mechanistic insights that implicate an aluminate-stabilized silylium ion at the 2-position as the final intermediate in the isomerization synthesis.

Synthetic strategies for functionalizing sila-adamantane at five discrete locations within the cluster core, paving the way for functional silicon diamondoid materials.



The significant aspects of this invention are:

  • Significantly more efficient as evidenced by the ability to access sila-adamantane on gram scales and in higher purity compared to prior art.
  • No chlorinated by-products.
  • Provides for derivatizing the sila-adamantane cluster in site selective fashion with either the same or unique functional groups.
  • Atomically precise structure of sila-adamantane is an advantage over existing silicon nanocrystals that are heterogeneous in core size and surface chemistry.

Potential Applications

Applications that could be enabled by this invention include:

  • Use as a ligand for improved chemical catalysis
  • Nanoscale silicon electronics
  • Battery anode materials
  • Pharmacology and medicine
  • UV/blue-emitting materials
  • Atomically precise versions of silicon donor qubits

Contact Information

Name: Venkata Krishnamurty