# How to measure and transfer sticky solids

What is the best way to measure and transfer a sticky compound in the lab, in particular for air/moisture sensitive reactions? I have a really sticky solid Wittig salt which I'm going to use in a Wittig reaction.

• PTFE (Teflon etc., e.g. sigmaaldrich.com/catalog/product/aldrich/z115282) may help if the salt is hygroscopic, since both polar (i.e. salt solution) and non-polar substances do not stick well. Silicone tools might also be of use. – DrMoishe Pippik Dec 8 '16 at 1:42
• Could you wrap it in plastic wrap? – Joseph Hirsch Dec 8 '16 at 3:21
• Glovebox - you can fill it with a neutral dry gas. I would also suggest you checking the purity of your substrate - sticky solids usually mean impurities or solvent presence. – vapid Dec 8 '16 at 13:47

Assuming that the sticky solid has a low enough vapour pressure (spoilers: practically all solids do), evacuate the Schlenk flask under high vacuum and backfill with argon (or nitrogen, if that is your inert gas of choice. Add a known quantity of your (dry, stored over molecular sieve and under inert atmosphere below a septum) solvent. Ideally, you either want an amount of solvent that gives you an easy-to-handle concentration (e.g. $10~\mathrm{M}$) or an amount so that what you need is in an even volume of liquid (e.g. $1~\mathrm{ml}$).