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Osmium(VIII) oxide is widely used as an oxidant in organic synthesis to oxidize alkenes to vicinal diols as well as in the sharpless oxyamination to give vicinal amino-alcohols. It is involved in the oxidative cleavage of alkenes (Lemieux-Johnson oxidation) in association with sodium periodate. It finds application in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as a staining agent. It is involved in the promotion of oxidative cleavage of graphene layers in carbon nanotubes and as an intermediate in osmium ore refining. As a lipid stain, it is useful in scanning electron microscopy (SEM) as an alternative to sputter coating.
Fojta, M.; Kostecka, P.; Pivonkova, H.; Horakova, P.; Havran, L. Osmium tetroxide complexes as versatile tools for structure probing and electrochemical analysis of biopolymers. Curr. Anal. Chem. 2011, 7 (1), 35-50.
Louviot, M.; Boudon, V.; Bermejo, D.; Martinez, R. Z.; Manceron, L. High-resolution stimulated Raman spectroscopy and analysis of the ?1 band of osmium tetroxide. J. Raman Spectrosc. 2013, 44 (1), 63-69.
Hazard Statements: H311-H315-H319-H332
Toxic in contact with skin. Causes skin irritation. Causes serious eye irritation. Harmful if inhaled.
Precautionary Statements: P264b-P271-P280-P302+P352-P304+P340-P305+P351+P338-P312-P332+P313-P361-P363-P501c
Wash face, hands and any exposed skin thoroughly after handling Use only outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective gloves/protective clothing/eye protection/face protection. IF ON SKIN: Wash with plenty of soap and water. IF INHALED: Remove to fresh air and keep at rest in a position comfortable for breathing. IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. Call a POISON CENTER or doctor/physician if you feel unwell. If skin irritation occurs: Get medical advice/attention. Remove/Take off immediately all contaminated clothing. Wash contaminated clothing before reuse. Dispose of contents/ container to an approved waste disposal plant