I read in a paper:

[...] we prepared the $\ce{PhTeNa}$ in situ from $\ce{(PhTe)2}$ and sodium wire in THF.

Can anyone explain me this procedure (the mechanism) focusing on the definition of "sodium wire"?


Sodium is normally stored as cubes under petrol or similar solvent. As a metal it is very soft, you can easily cut it with knife. For the reaction you need fresh reactive surface of the metal, so the wire is one of best choices. For lab-scale preparation see e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btvQdW4fXJE

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    $\begingroup$ In case one doesn't have the equipment required, it is quite easy to use a glass plate, a glass tube, a bit of vaseline oil and a knife to make curls of sodium foil that are just as good in many cases. $\endgroup$ – permeakra Oct 30 '15 at 9:48
  • $\begingroup$ I have never used sodium foil as curls, if I want a large surface area of sodium I tend to make sodium sand. My normal method is to stir up sodium violently in boiling hot toluene and then turn off the heating while allowing it to stirr while cooling. This works nicely for me. $\endgroup$ – Nuclear Chemist Apr 28 '18 at 20:35

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