Rapid Solid-State Precursor Synthesis of Materials

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Science  28 Feb 1992:
Vol. 255, Issue 5048, pp. 1093-1097
DOI: 10.1126/science.255.5048.1093


Precursor reactions based on metathetical (exchange) pathways have been found to be an effective synthetic route for the preparation of a large number of materials. These solid-solid reactions are extremely rapid (typically less than 1 second) and often can be initiated at or near room temperature. They are potentially useful for controlling product particle size and for preparing highquality cationic or anionic solid solutions. The frequently self-propagating and sometimes explosive behavior exhibited by these reactions can be attributed to the large amount of heat they release. As a consequence, thermodynamic considerations can be used to help select the best set of precursors as judged from reaction enthalpies. The factors that influence these reactions are illustrated by a discussion of MoS2, ZrN, MoSi2, and GaAs, examples of the many compounds accessible by this synthetic route.