Zigzag chains of alternating atoms in A2AuBi (A = Na, K) and K2AuSb. synthesis, structure, and bonding

Sung Jin Kim, Gordon J. Miller, John D. Corbett

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The polar intermetallic phases A2uBi (A = Na (I), K (II)), and K2AuSb (III) were obtained by direct reaction of the elements at elevated temperatures in niobium ampoules. The three isotypic compounds extend the prominent A2MPn (Ai = transition metal; Pn = group 15) structure family. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments show that these phases (I / II / III) crystallize in the orthorhombic space group Cmcm (No. 63), with a = 9.447(2) / 10.632(2) / 10.450(2) A; b = 7.700(2) / 7.918(2) / 7.857(2) Å; c = 5.849(1) / 6.597(1) / 6.501(1) Å; V = 425.4(2) / 555.4(2) / 533.8(2) A3, respectively, and Z = 4. The simple structures, which contain zigzag chains of linear two-bonded gold atoms and acute angles (64 to 76°) at two-bonded antimony or bismuth, can readily be rationalized with the Zintl-Klemm concept. TB-LMTO calculations show distinct band gaps at Ef, and analyses of DOS and COHP curves show optimized AU-PM bonding, appreciable Au-Au interactions across the chains, and covalent interactions between A and Pn atoms. The observed structural preference over an isoelectronic NaTl type structure, the cation influences, and site coloring were investigated with VASP and EHTB calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
JournalZeitschrift fur Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Bismuth
  • Bonding
  • Electronic structure
  • Gold
  • Intermetallic phases


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