CHEMISTRY: Rare Frameworks

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Science  17 Sep 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5691, pp. 1681b
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5691.1681b

Many transition metals have been shown to form solid-state compounds with interpenetrating frameworks, which are of interest as they can provide routes to creating microporous materials. However, for the lanthanides and actinides, progress has been slower, with the only known example being an actinide compound, the thiophosphate UP4S12.

Aitken and Kanatzidis report that the reaction of ytterbium in a potassium thiophosphate flux yields K6Yb3(PS4)5. X-ray crystallography revealed two interlocked networks with three types of Yb3+ centers linking the PS4 tetrahedra, one with the expected bicapped trigonal prismatic geometry and the other two with a distorted octahedral structure. The small size of Yb relative to other lanthanides appears to be the key factor in allowing it to adopt the octahedral geometry needed to form this type of network. - PDS

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/ja0474648 (2004).

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