Calcium nitride

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Calcium nitride
CAS number 12013-82-0 YesY
PubChem 3387080
EC number 234-592-9
Molecular formula Ca3N2
Molar mass 148.25 g mol−1
Appearance red-brown crystalline solid
Density 2.670 g/cm3
2.63 g/cm3 (17 °C)
Melting point 1,195 °C (2,183 °F; 1,468 K)
Solubility in water decomposes
Crystal structure Cubic, cI80
Space group Ia-3, No. 206
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

Calcium nitride is a red-brown, crystalline solid made up of calcium and nitrogen. Its chemical formula is Ca3N2.[1] α-Calcium nitride is the commonly encountered form. It has an anti-bixbyite structure similar to Mn2O3, except that the positions of the ions are reversed: calcium (Ca2+) take the oxide (O2−) positions and nitride ions (N3−) the manganese (Mn3+).

Calcium nitride is formed along with the oxide, CaO, when calcium burns in air. It can be produced by direct reaction of the elements:

3 Ca + N2 → Ca3N2

It reacts with moisture in air to give ammonia and calcium hydroxide:

Ca3N2 + 6 H2O → 3 Ca(OH)2 + 2 NH3

This reaction also occurs in water.[2]

It absorbs hydrogen above 350 °C:

Ca3N2 + 2 H2 → 2 CaNH + CaH2

General references[edit]


  1. ^ Mary Eagleson (1994). Concise Encyclopedia Chemistry. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-011451-8. 
  2. ^ Heyns, A (1998). "The Vibrational Spectra and Decomposition ofα-Calcium Nitride (α-Ca3N2) and Magnesium Nitride (Mg3N2)". Journal of Solid State Chemistry 137: 33. Bibcode:1998JSSCh.137...33H. doi:10.1006/jssc.1997.7672. 

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