A method is described for synthesizing decaborane wherein at least about 90% of the boron atoms in the decaborane are the .sup.10 B isotope, comprising the steps of: (a) reacting boric acid with a C.sub.1 to C.sub.10 alkanol to form a .sup.10 B-alkyl borate wherein at least about 90% of the boron atoms in the boric acid are the .sup.10 B isotope; (b) reducing the .sup.10 B-alkyl borate to form an alkali metal .sup.10 B-borohydride; (c) converting the alkali metal .sup.10 B-borohydride to a .sup.10 B-tetradecahydroundecaborate ion; and (d) converting the .sup.10 B-tetradecahydroundecaborate ion to .sup.10 B-decaborane. Methods of preparing tetradecahydroundecaborate ions and decaborane from alkali metal borohydrides are also described.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-94ID13223 between Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company and The United States Department of Energy.