Scientists use self-developed equipment to discover compounds with unique properties

Recently, Jiang Ling, researcher of Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Xie Hua, associate researcher, and Hu Yanshi, associate professor of Tsinghua University, used the self-developed infrared-extreme ultraviolet (IR-VUV) infrared spectroscopy experimental device to find the neutral heptacoordinated metal carbonyl compound Sc(CO)7 and octa-coordinated metal carbonyl compound TM(CO)8 (TM = Y, La) in the reaction of group IIIB transition metals with carbon monoxide. It provides new ideas for the design of compounds with unique properties and precise regulation. The results were published in the German Journal of Applied Chemistry.

The carbonyl compounds of neutral and highly coordinated transition metals were discovered by independent research and development of scientific instruments. Photo courtesy of Dalian Chemical Properties

Metal carbonyl compounds not only provide model systems for studying metal-ligand bonding and chemical rules, but also play an important role in many catalytic processes. Among them, the preparation and characterization of highly coordinated metal carbonyl compounds is one of the most challenging scientific problems. Compared with ionic metal carbonyl compounds, neutral metal carbonyl compounds are very difficult to experiment due to lack of charge, difficult to detect and mass selection. Therefore, the preparation and spectral characterization of neutral highly coordinated metal carbonyl compounds has been one of the long-term goals of scientists.

In order to achieve accurate detection and structural analysis of neutral metal carbonyl compounds, in recent years, Jiang Ling’s team has independently developed a high-throughput laser sputtering cluster source, and established an infrared spectroscopy experimental method based on Dalian coherent light source.

In this work, the team used the self-developed neutral cluster infrared spectroscopy experimental device to prepare neutral Sc(CO)7 and TM(CO)8 (TM = Y, La) products, and combined the infrared laser vibration pre-dissociation with the 193nm extreme ultraviolet laser ionization generated by the excimer laser to determine their infrared spectra. Through high-precision quantum chemistry theoretical calculations, Hu’s team obtained the stable configuration of these products and their infrared spectra, which were highly consistent with the experimental spectra.

This work discovered transition metal carbonyl compounds with neutral heptacoordination and octacoordination in the infinite field of gas phase, which helped to promote the development of size-resolved neutral cluster infrared spectroscopy, and provided a new strategy for the design, preparation and characterization of various compounds with unique properties at the atomic and molecular level. (Source: Sun Danning, China Science News)

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