AskDefine | Define iodoform

Dictionary Definition



1 sweet smelling yellow solid haloform CHI3 [syn: tri-iodomethane]
2 a yellowish crystalline solid with a penetrating odor; sometimes used as an antiseptic dressing [syn: triiodomethane]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A halogenated hydrocarbon, CHI3; a yellow crystalline compound, formerly used as a mild antiseptic

Extensive Definition

The term 'iodoform' was also used in World War II to refer to group keys sent to agents in Europe by the Special Operations Executive: this usage is unrelated to the chemical.
The compound iodoform is CHI3. A pale yellow, crystalline, volatile substance, it has a penetrating odor (in older chemistry texts, the smell is sometimes referred to as the smell of hospitals) and, analogous to chloroform, sweetish taste. It is slightly soluble in glycerol, petroleum ether or alcohol (78 g/l at 25 °C), averagely soluble in chloroform, acetic acid and ether (136 g/l at 25 °C) and easily soluble in benzene and acetone (120 g/l at 25 °C).

Physical properties

Its enthalpy of sublimation is 69.9 kJ.mol-1 at range of temperatures 35 - 92 °C.
Iodoform molecule parameters are: d(C-I) = 2.12 ± 0.04 Å, d(I-I) = 3.535 ± 0.01 Å and I-C-I = 113°. Dipole moment is 1 D. Its space group is P63 and lattice constants are a = 6.83 Å, c = 7.52 Å.
It has critical point at 584.85 °C, 5.63 MPa. Refractive index is 1.786 (D, 20 °C).


It was first prepared by Georges Serrulas in 1822 and its molecular formula was identified by Jean-Baptiste Dumas in 1834.
Iodoform can be synthesized in the haloform reaction by the reaction of iodine and sodium hydroxide with any one of these four kinds of organic compounds:
For this reason iodoform was traditionally used as a test for methyl ketone; if a methyl ketone is present in the solution, a yellow precipitate will form. This is known as the iodoform test.


Some reagents (e.g. hydroiodic acid) can convert iodoform to diiodomethane.
Also conversion to carbon dioxide is possible. Iodoform reacts with silver nitrate producing carbon monoxide, which is oxidized by mixture of sulfuric acid and iodine pentaoxide.


It was used in medicine as a healing and antiseptic dressing for wounds and sores around the beginning of the 20th century, though this use is now superseded by better antiseptics.


  • Merck Index, 12 Edition, 5054.
iodoform in Bulgarian: Йодоформ
iodoform in Czech: Jodoform
iodoform in German: Iodoform
iodoform in Italian: Iodoformio
iodoform in Latvian: Jodoforms
iodoform in Hungarian: Jodoform
iodoform in Japanese: ヨードホルム
iodoform in Polish: Jodoform
iodoform in Portuguese: Iodofórmio
iodoform in Russian: Иодоформ
iodoform in Turkish: İyodoform
iodoform in Chinese: 碘仿
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1