Electride

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Cavities and channels in an electride

An electride is an ionic compound in which an electron is the anion.[1] Solutions of alkali metals in ammonia are electride salts.[2] In the case of sodium, these blue solutions consist of [Na(NH3)6]+ and solvated electrons:

Na + 6 NH3 → [Na(NH3)6]+,e-

The cation [Na(NH3)6]+ is an octahedral coordination complex.

Solid salts[edit]

Addition of 2,2,2-cryptand to a solution of [Na(NH3)6]+e affords [Na(2,2,2-crypt)]+e. Evaporation of these solutions yields a blue-black paramagnetic salt with the formula [Na(2,2,2-crypt)]+e.

Most solid electride salts decompose above 240 K, although [Ca24Al28O68]4+(e-)4 is stable at room temperature.[3] In these salts, the electron is delocalized between the cations. Electrides are paramagnetic and Mott insulators.

Reactions[edit]

Solutions of electride salts are powerful reducing agents, as demonstrated by their use in the Birch reduction. Evaporation of these blue solutions affords a mirror of Na. Such solutions slowly lose their colour as the electrons reduce ammonia:

[Na(NH3)6]+e + NH3NaNH2 + H2

High pressure elements[edit]

Theoretical evidence supports electride behaviour in insulating high-pressure forms of potassium, sodium, and lithium. Here the isolated electron is stabilized by efficient packing which reduces enthalpy under external pressure. The electride is identified by a maximum in the electron localization function which distinguishes the electride from pressure-induced metallization. Electride phases are typically semiconducting or have very low conductivity.[4][5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dye, J. L. (2003). "Electrons as Anions". Science 301 (5633): 607–608. doi:10.1126/science.1088103. PMID 12893933. 
  2. ^ Holleman, A. F.; Wiberg, E. "Inorganic Chemistry" Academic Press: San Diego, 2001. ISBN 0-12-352651-5
  3. ^ Buchammagari, H. et al. (2007). "Room Temperature-Stable Electride as a Synthetic Organic Reagent: Application to Pinacol Coupling Reaction in Aqueous Media". Org. Lett. (ACS Publications) 9 (21): 4287–4289. doi:10.1021/ol701885p. PMID 17854199. 
  4. ^ Marques M. et al. (2009). "Potassium under Pressure: A Pseudobinary Ionic Compound". Physical Review Letters 103 (11): 115501. Bibcode:2009PhRvL.103k5501M. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.115501. 
  5. ^ Gatti M. et al. (2010). "Sodium: A Charge-Transfer Insulator at High Pressures". Physical Review Letters 104 (11): 216404. arXiv:1003.0540. Bibcode:2010PhRvL.104u6404G. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.216404. 
  6. ^ Marques M. et al. (2011). "Crystal Structures of Dense Lithium: A Metal-Semiconductor-Metal Transition". Physical Review Letters 106 (9): 095502. Bibcode:2011PhRvL.106i5502M. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.095502. 

Further reading[edit]