Trends in Synthesis, Crystal Structure, and Thermal and Magnetic Properties of Rare-Earth Metal Borohydrides

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Synthesis, crystal structures, and thermal and magnetic properties of the complete series of halide-free rare-earth (RE) metal borohydrides are presented. A new synthesis method provides high yield and high purity products. Fifteen new metal borohydride structures are reported. The trends in crystal structures, thermal behavior, and magnetic properties for the entire series of RE(BH 4 ) x are compared and discussed. The RE(BH 4 ) x possess a very rich crystal chemistry, dependent on the oxidation state and the ionic size of the rare-earth ion. Due to the lanthanide contraction, there is a significant decrease in the volume of the RE 3+ -ion with increasing atomic number, which correlates linearly with the unit cell volume of the α- and β-RE(BH 4 ) 3 polymorphs and the solvated complexes α-RE(BH 4 ) 3 ·S(CH 3 ) 2 . The thermal analysis reveals a one-step decomposition pathway in the temperature range from 247 to 277 °C for all RE(BH 4 ) 3 except Lu(BH 4 ) 3 , which follows a three-step decomposition pathway. In contrast, the RE(BH 4 ) 2 decompose at higher temperatures in the range 306 to 390 °C due to lower charge density on the rare-earth ion. The RE(BH 4 ) 3 show increasing stability with increasing Pauling electronegativity, which contradicts other main group and transition metal borohydrides. The majority of the compounds follow Curie-Weiss paramagnetic behavior down to 3 K with weak antiferromagnetic interactions and magnetic moments in accord with those of isolated 4f ions. Some of the RE(BH 4 ) x display varying degrees of temperature-dependent magnetic moments due to low-lying excited stated induced by crystal field effects. Additionally, a weak antiferromagnetic ordering is observed in Gd(BH 4 ) 3 , indicating superexchange through a borohydride group.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Pages (from-to)5503-5517
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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