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Acta Crystallographica Section B

Acta Crystallographica Section B: Structural Science, Crystal Engineering and Materials publishes scientific articles related to the structural science of compounds and materials in the widest sense. Knowledge of the arrangements of atoms, including their

Published: 2017-11-15


Conformational and structural diversity of iridium dimethyl sulfoxide complexes


Transition metal complexes containing dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) are important precursors in catalysis and metallodrugs. Understanding the solid-state supramolecular structure is crucial for predicting the properties and biological activity of the material. Several crystalline phases of DMSO-coordinated iridium anions with different cations, potassium (1a) and n-butylammonium (1b), were obtained and their structures determined by X-ray crystallography. Compound (1a) is present in two solvatomorphic forms: α and β; the β form contains disordered solvent water. In addition, the structures exhibit different rotamers of the trans-[IrCl4(DMSO)2]− anion with the trans-DMSO ligands being oriented in anti and gauche conformations. In consideration of these various conformers, the effects of the crystallized solvent and intermolecular interactions on the conformational preferences of the anion are discussed. In addition, density functional theory calculations were used to investigate the energies of the anions in the different conformations. It was found that hydrogen bonds between water and the DMSO complex stabilize the gauche conformation which is the least stable form of the trans-DMSO complex. Consequently, by controlling the number of hydrogen-bond donors and acceptors and the amount of water, it may be possible to obtain different solvatomorphs of clinically significant metallodrugs.

A review of the oxidation–pressure concept (OPC) and extended Zintl–Klemm concept (EZKC), and the emergence of the high-pressure Ni2In-type phase of lithium sulfide (Li2S) rationalized by reference to a newly defined stability enhancement ratio (S)


Taking into account new experimental data [Barkalov et al. (2016). Solid State Sci. 61, 220–224] on the pressure-induced Ni2In phase of Li2S, at 30 GPa, three concepts related to high-pressure phase transitions are reviewed here. This paper firstly reviews evidence that chemical oxidation (by inclusion of oxygen atoms) can produce a similar effect to the application of physical high pressure and temperature, in an effect labelled as the oxidation–pressure concept. Secondly, the pressure-induced Ni2In phase of Li2S is the final phase in the double transition antifluorite → anticotunnite → Ni2In, as is observed in other alkali metal sulfides. This new phase for Li2S could be expected after knowledge of the high-pressure Cmcm phase of Li2SO4, which is a distortion of the hexagonal I-Na2SO4 phase, both having M2S subarrays of the Ni2In-type. Thirdly, in order to clarify these links, a simple methodology is proposed for gauging the level of increased stability (by defining a stability enhancement ratio, S) when the extended Zintl–Klemm concept (EZKC) has been applied. The method uses relative values of the lattice potential energies estimated for Li2S and for the pseudo-lattice Ψ-BeS derived by applying the EZKC to Li2S, after which, Li2S can be reformulated as Li+[LiS]− ≡ Li+[Ψ-BeS].

The extended Zintl–Klemm concept, ionic strength I and assessment of the relative stability of lattices using the stability enhancement ratio S


This article examines the comparison between the classical formulations used to describe silicates and that derived from the application of the extended Zintl–Klemm concept (EZKC). The ionic strength, I, for 25 silicate lattices is calculated taking into account both formulations, and the results show that, in every single one of the examples, the ionic strength of the Zintl polyanion is higher than that of the classical model which assigns a formal charge of 4+ for silicon. Our earlier study, firstly applied to the germanate (NH4)2Ge[6][Ge[4]6O15] [Vegas & Jenkins (2017). Acta Cryst. B73, 94–100] and to the polyanion [Ge[4]6O15]6− equivalent to the pseudo-As2O5 derived from it, explained satisfactorily the charge transfer that takes place in the Zintl compounds. The value of I = ½∑nizi2 for the Zintl polyanion was greater than for the compound as formulated in the classical way. In that article, a meaningful relationship was found between the electron transfers as defined by the EZKC and the ionic strength I of the anion [Ge[4]6O15]6− ≡ Ψ-As2O5. Because the ionic strength, I, of a lattice is directly proportional to the lattice potential energy, UPOT, the higher the I the greater the UPOT; thus it is harder to break up the lattice into its constituent ions and hence the lattice itself is more stable, giving support to the idea that the application of the EZKC and the resulting electron shifts yields structures which are inherently thermodynamically more stable than the starting configuration.

Orientational order-disorder γ ↔ β ↔ α′ ↔ α phase transitions in Sr2B2O5 pyroborate and crystal structures of β and α phases


Crystal structures of γ-, β- and α-Sr2B2O5 polymorphs resulting from the γ ↔ (at 565 K) β ↔ (at 637 K) α′ ↔ (at 651 K) α sequence of reversible first-order phase transitions are studied by high-temperature single-crystal X-ray diffraction, high-temperature X-ray powder diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry and impedance spectroscopy. Out of these phases, the structure of γ-Sr2B2O5 was already known whereas the structures of β- and α-Sr2B2O5 were determined for the first time. The sequence of phase transitions is associated with an unusual change of symmetry, with triclinic intermediate β-Sr2B2O5 phase and monoclinic low-temperature γ-Sr2B2O5 as well as high-temperature α-Sr2B2O5 phase. Taking the α-Sr2B2O5 phase with space group P21/c as a parent structure, the γ-Sr2B2O5 phase was refined as a twofold superstructure with symmetry P21/c, whereas the β-Sr2B2O5 phase was a sixfold superstructure with symmetry P{\overline 1}. To construct a unified structure model for all Sr2B2O5 modifications, phases of γ- and β-Sr2B2O5 were also refined as commensurately modulated structures using the basic unit cell of the parent α-Sr2B2O5. The phase transitions are related to the orientational order–disorder arrangement of B2O5 pyroborate groups, where the degree of disorder grows towards the high-temperature phase. Thermal expansion is strongly anisotropic and dictated by preferable orientations of BO3 triangles in the structure. The intermediate phase α′-Sr2B2O5, stable over a narrow temperature range (637–651 K), features the largest anisotropy of expansion for the known borates: α11 = 205, α22 = 57, α33 = −81 × 10−6 K−1.

A new high-pressure polymorph of phosphoric acid


The high-pressure structural behaviour of phosphoric acid is described. A compression study of the monoclinic phase, using neutron powder diffraction and X-ray single-crystal diffraction, shows that it converts to a previously unobserved orthorhombic phase on decompression. Compression of this new phase is reported up to 6.3 GPa. The orthorhombic phase is found to be more efficiently packed, with reduced void space, resulting in a larger bulk modulus. Molecule–molecule interaction energies reveal a more extensive network of increased attractive forces in the orthorhombic form relative to the monoclinic form, suggesting greater thermodynamic stability.

On the stacking disorder of dl-norleucine


dl-Norleucine (2-aminohexanoic acid, C6H13NO2) forms a double-layer structure in all known phases (α, β, γ). The crystal structure of the β-phase was redetermined at 173 K. Diffraction patterns of the α- and β-phases frequently show diffuse streaks parallel to c*, which indicates a stacking disorder of the layers. A symmetry analysis was carried out to derive possible stacking sequences. Lattice-energy minimizations by force fields and by dispersion-corrected density functional theory (DFT-D) were performed on a set of ordered model structures with Z = 4, 8 and 16 with different stacking sequences. The calculated energies depend not only on the arrangement of neighbouring double layers, but also of next-neighbouring double layers. Stacking probabilities were calculated from the DFT-D energies. According to the calculated stacking probabilities large models containing 100 double layers were constructed. Their simulated diffraction patterns show sharp reflections for h + k = 2n and diffuse streaks parallel to c* through all reflections with h + k = 2n + 1. Experimental single-crystal X-ray diffraction revealed that at 173 K norleucine exists in the β-phase with stacking disorder. After reheating to room temperature, the investigated crystal showed a diffraction pattern with strong diffuse scattering parallel to c* through all reflections with h + k = 2n + 1, which is in good agreement with the simulated disordered structure.

Orientational disorder and phase transitions in ammonium oxofluorovanadates, (NH4)3VOF5 and (NH4)3VO2F4


Single crystals of (NH4)3VOF5 and (NH4)3VO2F4 were obtained from aqueous fluoride solutions and phase transitions in these compounds were investigated using X-ray diffraction, differential scanning microcalorimetry (DSM) and vibrational spectroscopy. The room-temperature (RT) phases of these compounds belong to orthorhombic symmetry [Immm and I222, Z = 6, for (NH4)3VOF5 and (NH4)3VO2F4, respectively] with similar unit-cell parameters and two independent vanadium atoms. Above RT [at 350 and 440 K for (NH4)3VOF5 and (NH4)3VO2F4, respectively], the compounds undergo reversible phase transitions into high-symmetry dynamically disordered elpasolite-like (Fm{\bar 3}m, Z = 4) structures with six and 12 spatial orientations of the vanadium octahedron for (NH4)3VOF5 and (NH4)3VO2F4, respectively. The ligand atoms are distributed in a mixed (split) position of 24e + 96j, one of the ammonium groups is disordered on the tetrahedron 32f site, but another one forms eight spatial orientations due to disorder of its hydrogen atoms in the 96j position. DSM and spectroscopic data enable the phase transition from high temperature to room temperature to be connected with the transition from isotropic orientations of the octahedron to its two different dynamic states.

Effect of processing parameters on microstructural properties of lead magnesium niobates


The synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and subsequent detailed Rietveld analysis of lead magnesium niobate (PMN) samples were performed to study the microstructural properties of polar nanoregions (PNRs) of the R3m phase. PMN samples were synthesized under different sample processing conditions. The line profile broadening analysis of room-temperature synchrotron powder XRD patterns was performed using the multi-phase Rietveld refinement method for isotropic microstructural evaluation of different PMN samples. The two phases of perovskite PMN considered in the Rietveld refinement approach for satisfactorily fitting the XRD patterns are the paraelectric cubic phase (Pm\overline 3m) and the local rhombohedral phase (R3m) which corresponds to the PNRs. It is observed that the contributions of the Gaussian component of size broadening of the polar rhombohedral phase (R3m) and the Lorentzian component of strain broadening of the paraelectric cubic phase (Pm\overline 3m) are apposite for satisfactory Rietveld refinement of the synchrotron XRD data for all PMN samples. The volume-average crystallite size of PNRs (R3m phase) is almost invariant (approximately 12 nm) with increasing processing temperature while their weight percentage increases. The values of the apparent microstrain in the paraelectric cubic phase (Pm\overline 3m) are larger for hot-pressed samples.

New superprotonic crystals with dynamically disordered hydrogen bonds: cation replacements as the alternative to temperature increase


Investigations of new single crystals grown in the K3H(SO4)2–(NH4)3H(SO4)2–H2O system from solutions with different K:NH4 concentration ratios have been carried out. Based on the X-ray diffraction data, the atomic structure of the crystals was determined at room temperature taking H atoms into account. It has been determined that [K0.43(NH4)0.57]3H(SO4)2 crystals are trigonal at ambient conditions such as the superprotonic phase of (NH4)3H(SO4)2 at high temperature. A distribution of the K and N atoms in the crystal was modelled on the basis of the refined occupancies of K/N positions. Studies of dielectric properties over the temperature range 223–353 K revealed high values of conductivity of the crystals comparable with the conductivity of known superprotonic compounds at high temperatures, and an anomaly corresponding to a transition to the phase with low conductivity upon cooling.