The discovery of the diatomic radical silicon nitride (SiN) was reported in 1992 by
Turner, who detected it toward the circumstellar
cloud IRC+10216 (CW Leo) via five rotational transitions
that were observed with the NRAO
12 m telescope on Kitt Peak.
Schilke et al. subsequently reported the presence of
SiN in the interstellar medium, toward Sgr B2(M),
Other Si-containing diatomics that have been detected to date include:
SiS (1975), and
SiC (1989). Diatomic SiN is too reactive to persist very
long once formed, but silicon nitride
(Si3N4) is a very stable material.