I’m reminded this afternoon of how nothing is simple in chemistry. Everything seems to require a learning curve.  Even in making an apparently simple binary inorganic molecule, nature can put a hitch in yer giddyup.  It’s especially vexing when all you have to determine purity or identity is elemental analysis or perhaps some gravimetric wet chemical method.  I’ve been spoiled rotten by NMR.

Update:  OK. So I have tweaked the reaction conditions and am now able to make this particular metal halide.  I was applying conditions that were too vigorous.  This is an element I’ve never worked with before, so it is new territory for me. Funny how different metals can be … said the organikker.  \;-)