Volatile Metal Complexes

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Science  21 Jul 1978:
Vol. 201, Issue 4352, pp. 217-223
DOI: 10.1126/science.201.4352.217


Fundamental investigations of the chemical and physical properties of metal β-diketonate complexes have revealed unusual volatility, as well as solvolytic and thermal stability and solubility in organic solvents. Certain general rules describing the volatility of metal β-diketonates on the basis of ligand shell character and metal ion size have arisen from extensive gas chromatographic and vapor pressure studies. Several practical applications of volatile β-diketonates teke advantage of their special properties. In ultratrace metal analysis by gas chromatography, use of these chelates has allowed the detection of smaller amounts of certain metals than can be detected by any other analytic method. Certain rare earth β-diketonates have been found useful as antiknock additives in gasoline and as catalysts for the removal of carbonaceous deposits from the combustion chambers of internal combustion engines.