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Positive at last: A pure phosphorus cation

Date:
June 27, 2012
Source:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Summary:
Ever since Hennig Brand's discovery in 1669, elementary phosphorus has fascinated chemists around the world. It is industrially produced by the ton and its compounds have numerous applications in materials science and the life sciences. The main known forms of the element are white, red, and black phosphorus. Chemists have now succeeded in creating a positively charged pure phosphorus compound.

Ever since Hennig Brand's discovery in 1669, elementary phosphorus has fascinated chemists around the world. It is industrially produced by the ton and its compounds have numerous applications in materials science and the life sciences. The main known forms of the element are white, red, and black phosphorus.

In addition, there are hundreds of compounds in which phosphorus is present as an anion, a negatively charged ion. Some of these compounds have very useful properties. They are suitable for use as electrode materials for lithium-ion batteries, for instance. But all attempts in the past decades to synthesize a positively charged cation as a complement to the known negative ion have failed. A research team led by Prof. Dr. Ingo Krossing from the Faculty of Chemistry, Pharmacy, and Earth Sciences of the University of Freiburg has now succeeded in creating a positively charged pure phosphorus compound.

The results have been published in a recent issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie.

The team used the stabilizing effect of an non-reactive counterion to synthesize sizable quantities of the first ever pure phosphorus cation [P9]+ both in solution and in solid form. In addition, the salt obtained in this way remains stable for weeks at room temperature. It is thus finally possible to perform chemical reactions with this particle, which was previously known only from gas-phase experiments. Due to its broad availability, it can be used in fundamental as well as applied research. One promising possibility is the semiconductor synthesis of the compound gallium phosphide, which is relevant for blue light-emitting diodes (LED).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Tobias Köchner, Tobias A. Engesser, Harald Scherer, Dietmar A. Plattner, Alberto Steffani, Ingo Krossing. [P9] [Al(ORF)4]−, the Salt of a Homopolyatomic Phosphorus Cation. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2012; DOI: 10.1002/anie.201203991

Cite This Page:

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Positive at last: A pure phosphorus cation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120627092012.htm>.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. (2012, June 27). Positive at last: A pure phosphorus cation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120627092012.htm
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. "Positive at last: A pure phosphorus cation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120627092012.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

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