In Situ Crystallography And Charge Density Analysis Of Phase Transitions In Complex Inorganic Sulfates
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The thesis entitled “In situ crystallography and charge density analysis of phase transitions in complex inorganic sulfates” consists of six chapters. Structural changes exhibited by ferroic and conducting materials are studied as a function of temperature via in situ crystallography on the same single crystal. These unique experiments bring out the changes in the crystal system resulting in subtle changes in the complex polyhedra, distortions in bond lengths and bond angles, rotation of sulfate tetrahedral around metal atoms, phase separations and charge density features. The results provide new insights into the structural changes during the phase transition in terms of coordination changes, variable bond paths and variability in electrostatic potentials while suggesting possible reaction pathways hitherto unexplored. Chapter 1 gives a brief review of the basic features of structural phase transitions in terms of types of phase transitions, their mechanisms and related properties and outlines some of the key characterization techniques employed in structural phase transition studies like single crystal diffraction, thermal analysis, conductivity, dielectric relaxation, Raman spectroscopy and charge density studies. Chapter 2 deals with the group of compounds A3H(SO4)2, where A= Rb, NH4, K, Na which undergoes ferroelastic to paraelastic phase transitions with increase in temperature. Crystal structures of these compounds have been determined to a high degree of accuracy employing the same single crystal at room temperature at 100K and at higher temperatures. The data collection at 100K allows the examination of the ordered and disordered hydrogen atom positions. Rb3H(SO4)2 show two intermediate phases before reaching the paraelastic phase with increase in temperature. However, in case of (NH4)3H(SO4)2 and K3H(SO4)2, the paraelastic phase transition involves a single step. Chapter 3 deals with variable temperature in situ single crystal X-ray diffraction studies on fast super protonic conductors AHSO4, where A= Rb, NH4, K to characterize the structural phase transitions as well as the dehydration mechanism. The structure of KHSO4 at room temperature belongs to an orthorhombic crystal system with the space group symmetry Pbca and on heating to 463K it transforms to a C centered orthorhombic lattice, space group Cmca. The high temperature structure contain two crystallographically independent units of KHSO4 of which one KHSO4 unit is disordered at oxygen and hydrogen sites an shows a remarkable increase of sulfur oxygen bond distance – 1.753(4)Å. On heating to 475K, two units of disordered KHSO4 combine and loose one molecule of water to result in a structure K2S2O7 along with an ordered KHSO4 in a monoclinic system [space group P21/c]. On further heating to 485K two units of ordered KHSO4 combine, again to lose one water molecule to give K2S2O7 in a monoclinic crystal system [space group C2/c]. In the case of RbHSO4, both the high temperature structural phase transition and a serendipitous polymorph have been characterized by single crystal X-ray diffraction. The room temperature structure is monoclinic, P21/n, and on heating the crystal insitu On the diffractometer to 460K the structure changes to an orthorhombic system [space group Pmmn]. On keeping the crystallization temperature at 80°C polymorph crystals of RbHSO4 were grown. In case of NH4HSO4 both the room temperature and high temperature structures are structurally similar to those in RbHSO4, but the transition temperature is found to be 413K. Chapter 4 deals with the crystal structure, ionic conduction, dielectric relaxation, Raman spectroscopy phase transition pf a fast ion conductor Na2Cd(SO4)2. The structure is monoclinic, space group C2/c, and is built up with inter connecting CdO6 octahedra and SO4 tetrahedra resulting in a framework structure. The mobile Na atoms are present in the framework, resulting in a high ionic conductivity. The conductivity measurement shows two phase transitions one at around 280°C, which was confirmed later from DTA, dielectric relaxation, high temperature powder diffraction and Raman spectroscopy. Chapter 5 describes the structure and in situ phase separation in two different bimetallic sulfates Na2Mn1.167(SO4)2S0.33O1.1672H2O and K4Cd3(SO4)5.3H2O. These compounds were synthesized keeping them as mimics of mineral structures. The structure of Na2Mn1.167(SO4)2S0.33O1.1672H2O is trigonal, space group R . The stiochiometry can be viewed as a combination of Na2Mn(SO4)22H2O resembling the mineral Krohnkite with an additional (Mn0.167S0.333O1.167) motif. On heating the parent compound on the diffractometer to 500K and keeping the capillary at this temperature for one hour, a remarkable structural phase separation occurs with one phase showing a single crystal-single crystal transition and the other generating a polycrystalline phase. The resulting single crystal spots can be indexed in a monoclinic C2/c space group and the structure determination unequivocally suggests the formation of Na2Mn(SO4)2, isostructural to Na2Cd(SO4)z. The mechanism follows the symmetry directed pathway from the rhombohedral → monoclinic symmetry with the removal of symmetry subsequent to the loss of the two coordinated water molecules. In case of K4Cd3(SO4)5.3H2O the structure belongs to the space group P21/n at room temperature and on heating to 500K and holding the capillary at this temperature for 60 minutes as before, the CCD images can be indexed in a cubic P213 space group after the phase separation, generating K2Cd2(SO4)3, belonging to the well known Langbeinite family, while the other phase is expected to be the sought after K2Cd(SO4)2. The possible pathways have been discussed. Chapter 6 reports the charge density studies of phase transitions in a type II langbeinite, Rb2Mn2(SO4)3. The structure displays two different phases, cubic at 200K, orthorhombic at 100K respectively. After multiple refinements it is found that there are significant differences in the actual bond path (Rij) and the conventional bond length. In the cubic phase the distortions in sulfate tetrahedral are more than in the orthorhombic phase which could be the expected driving force for the phase transition to occur. Appendix contains reprints of the work done on the structures of the following: a) Rb2Cd3(SO4)3(OH)2.2H2O: structural stability at 500 K b) Structure of (NH4)2Cd3(SO4)4.5H2O c) Structure of Rb2Cd3(SO4)4.5H2O
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