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Trimetallic Borohydride Li3MZn5(BH4)15 (M = Mg, Mn) Containing Two Weakly Interconnected Frameworks

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  • Radovan Cerný, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Pascal Schouwink, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Yolanda Sadikin, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • Katarina Stare, University of Geneva, Switzerland
  • L'ubomír Smrčok, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia
  • Bo Richter, Denmark
  • Torben R Jensen
The compounds, Li3MZn5(BH4)15, M = Mg and Mn, represent the first trimetallic borohydrides and are also new cationic solid solutions. These materials were prepared by mechanochemical synthesis from LiBH4, MCl2 or M(BH4)2, and ZnCl2. The compounds are isostructural, and their crystal structure was characterized by in situ synchrotron radiation powder X-ray and neutron diffraction and DFT calculations. While diffraction provides an average view of the structure as hexagonal (a = 15.371(3), c = 8.586(2) Å, space group P63/mcm for Mg-compound at room temperature), the DFT optimization of locally ordered models suggests a related ortho-hexagonal cell. Ordered models that maximize Mg-Mg separation have the lowest DFT energy, suggesting that the hexagonal structure seen by diffraction is a superposition of three such orthorhombic structures in three orientations along the hexagonal c-axis. No conclusion about the coherent length of the orthorhombic structure can be however done. The framework in Li3MZn5(BH4)15 is of a new type. It contains channels built from face-sharing (BH4)6 octahedra. While X-ray and neutron powder diffraction preferentially localize lithium in the center of the octahedra, thus resulting in two weakly interconnected frameworks of a new type, the DFT calculations clearly favor lithium inside the shared triangular faces, leading to two interpenetrated mco-nets (mco-c type) with the basic tile being built from three tfa tiles, which is the framework type of the related bimetallic LiZn2(BH4)5. The new borohydrides Li3MZn5(BH4)15 are potentially interesting as solid-state electrolytes, if the lithium mobility within the octahedral channels is improved by disordering the site via heterovalent substitution. From a hydrogen storage point of view, their application seems to be limited as the compounds decompose to three known metal borohydrides.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Pages (from-to)9941-9947
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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