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J Am Chem Soc. 2001 Jul 25;123(29):7040-7.

Cubic aluminum silicides RE8Ru12Al49Si9(Al(x)Si12-x) (RE = Pr, Sm) from liquid aluminum. Empty (Si,Al)12 cuboctahedral clusters and assignment of the Al/Si distribution with neutron diffraction.

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Department of Chemistry, Center for Fundamental Materials Research, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1322, USA.


Two new quaternary aluminum silicides, RE8Ru12Al49Si9(Al(x)Si12-x) (x approximately 4; RE = Pr, Sm), have been synthesized from Sm (or Sm2O3), Pr, Ru, and Si in molten aluminum between 800 and 1000 degrees C in sealed fused silica tubes. Both compounds form black shiny crystals that are stable in air and NaOH. The Nd analog is also stable. The compounds crystallize in a new structural type. The structure, determined by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, is cubic, space group Pm3m with Z = 1, and has lattice parameters of a = 11.510(1) A for Sm8Ru12Al49Si9(Al(x)Si12-x) and a = 11.553(2) A for Pr8Ru12Al49Si9(Al(x)Si12-x) (x approximately 4). The structure consists of octahedral units of AlSi6, at the cell center, Si2Ru4Al8 clusters, at each face center, SiAl8 cubes, at the middle of the cell edges, and unique (Al,Si)12 cuboctohedral clusters, at the cell corners. These different structural units are connected to each other either by shared atoms, Al-Al bonds, or Al-Ru bonds. The rare earth metal atoms fill the space between various structural units. The Al/Si distribution was verified by single-crystal neutron diffraction studies conducted on Pr8Ru12Al49Si9(Al(x)Si12-x). Sm8Ru12Al49Si9(Al(x)Si12-x) and Pr8Ru12Al49Si9(Al(x)Si12-x) show ferromagnetic ordering at Tc approximately 10 and approximately 20 K, respectively. A charge of 3+ can be assigned to the rare earth atoms while the Ru atoms are diamagnetic.


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