Nitrogen Triiodide Detonation


A ring stand is set up with two rings, each holding a filter paper spread with nitrogen triiodide. The bottom filter paper is touched with a feather, causing an explosion that detonates the other sample of nitrogen triiodide.

Chemical Equation

2 NI3 === N2 + 3 I2

Think About It

  1. What observable evidence indicates that a chemical reaction has taken place?
  2. Classify the reaction shown on the video as combination, decomposition, exchange, or acid-base and give the reason for your choice.


explosions, loud, irritant

Nitrogen triiodide is a very unstable explosive substance when dry. It should only be handled when it is wet and only by those familiar with its properties. The explosive detonation of nitrogen triiodide can be extremely loud. Wear ear protection! Iodine vapor produced in this demonstration is an irritant to the respiratory system and eyes.