Polycrystalline samples and single crystals of the new complex boride Ti1+x Rh2−x+y Ir3−y B3 (x=0.68; y=1.06) were synthesized by arc-melting the elements in a water-cooled copper crucible under an argon atmosphere and characterized by X-Ray diffraction as well as EDX measurements. The crystal structure was refined on the basis of single crystal data. The new phase, which represents a new structure type containing trans zigzag B4 fragments as well as isolated boron atoms crystallizes in the orthorhombic space group Pbam (Nr. 55) with the lattice parameters a=8.620(1)Å, b=14.995(2)Å and c=3.234(1)Å. First-principles density functional theory calculations using the Vienna ab-initio simulation package (VASP) were performed on an appropriate structural model (using a supercell approach) and the experimental crystallographic data could be reproduced accurately. Based on this model, the density of states and crystal orbital Hamilton population (for bonding analysis) were calculated, using the linear muffin-tin orbital atomic sphere approximation (LMTO-ASA) method. According to these calculations, this metal-rich compound should be metallic, as expected. Furthermore, very strong boron–boron interactions are observed in the trans zigzag B4 fragment, which induce a clear differentiation of two types of metal–boron contacts with different strength. The observed three-dimensional metal–metal interaction is in good agreement with the predicted metallic behavior.
graphical abstract Highlights
The structure of Ti1.68(2)Rh2.38(6)Ir1.94(4) B3, a new structure type containing planar trans zigzag B4 units, is another example which illustrates the tendency of metal-rich borides to form B–B bonds with increasing boron content. Beside the B4 fragment it exhibits one-dimensional chains of titanium atoms and hold one-dimensional strings of face-sharing empty tetrahedral and square pyramidal clusters (see figure)
. ► Synthesis of a new metal-rich complex boride. ► New structure type containing isolated boron and trans zigzag B4 units. ► Crystallographic parameters and bond length well reproduced by theory. ► Strong boron–boron and metal–boron interactions responsible for structural stability. ► Three-dimensional metallic network responsible for metallic behavior.
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