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Silicones from Dow Corning
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Organically Modified Silicones
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Silicones can be synthesized into an almost infinite variety
of materials, each with unique chemical properties and
performance characteristics.


Did you know ... organic modification of a polysiloxane molecule can make it behave in seemingly "unsilicone"ways! Challenge your thinking
about what silicones can
be and do.

Organically modified silicones – bringing silicone performance to organic chemistry

With its Si-O-Si backbone and pendant methyl (CH3) groups, polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is a hybrid material with both inorganic and organic capabilities.

Silicone’s place on the inorganic-organic continuum

Silicones operate on a "sliding scale." Their properties are not "fixed." By adding different organic groups or changing the degree of organic vs. inorganic functionality, silicones can be made to exhibit an almost limitless range of organic vs. inorganic behaviors and benefits.

Organically modified silicones can solve problems, create opportunities

By adding different organic groups to a polysiloxane molecule, all kinds of different properties can be achieved, such as:

  • Better compatibility with organic materials, or increased ability to repel them
  • The ability to react with organic materials
  • Even greater thermal stability, lower flammability
  • Solvent resistance
  • Water solubility and control over the level of solubility
  • Improved antistatic properties
  • Improved durability of silicone benefits, such as lubricity
  • The ability to impart silicone properties to the surface of organic materials

How organically modified silicone molecules are tailored to meet your needs

  • Molecular weight and mol% of a functional group can be varied. This allows tailoring to specific markets, improved compatibility, and a wider range of solubilities.
  • The organofunctional groups added to the silicone molecule can be reactive or non-reactive.
  • Reactive organic groups are usually separated from the silicon by a three-carbon chain to protect the organic reactivity from the effects of the silicon.
  • These groups can be attached to the polysiloxane chain in a number of ways.
  • Organoreactive silicones can be designed to react with specific substrates or formulation ingredients to improve adhesion or create new molecules.

View basic organoreactive silicone structures and their uses.

Did you know ... organically modified silicones are highly effective at very low levels of functionality, so they can actually cost less to use than other materials! Learn more about the cost and performance advantages of silicones.

Expand your understanding

Learn about:
Organoreactive silicone structures
Organic functionalities

Related information:
Organo-Functional Silanes (PDF Size 265 KB)

Technical articles for chemists and engineers:

Silicones in Industrial Applications
Article reprints from the silicone chapter of Inorganic Polymers, published by Nova Sciences.

Scientific overviews by silicone experts from around the globe.

  • Introduction to silicone chemistry
  • Uses, benefits, and limitations of silicones in various industrial applications

Explore your material options

Get answers

Have a question about organofunctional silicones?

Ask an Expert

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