Because of its explosive nature, the structural chemistry of nitrogen triiodide is difficult to study. It's made up of a single nitrogen atom and three iodine atoms. The relatively large size of the iodine atoms is what causes the steric strain in the compound, and results in its volatile instability. When it explodes, it releases a cloud of purple iodine vapor.
Nitrogen Triiodide Explodes At The Slightest Touch
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Key Facts In This Video
Nitrogen triiodide consists of one nitrogen and three iodine atoms. 00:33
When it detonates, nitrogen triiodide produces a vibrant cloud of iodine vapor. 01:38
Watch nitrogen triiodide explode in slow motion: 02:17