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Metallic Borides, La2Re3B7 and La3Re2B5, Featuring Extensive Boron–Boron Bonding

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posted on 09.02.2016, 16:07 by Daniel E. Bugaris, Christos D. Malliakas, Duck Young Chung, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis
La2Re3B7 and La3Re2B5 have been synthesized in single-crystalline form from a molten La/Ni eutectic at 1000 °C in the first example of the flux crystal growth of ternary rare-earth rhenium borides. Both compounds crystallize in their own orthorhombic structure types, with La2Re3B7 (space group Pcca) having lattice parameters a = 7.657(2) Å, b = 6.755(1) Å, and c = 11.617(2) Å, and La3Re2B5 (space group Pmma) having lattice parameters a = 10.809(2) Å, b = 5.287(1) Å, and c = 5.747(1) Å. The compounds possess three-dimensional framework structures that are built up from rhenium boride polyhedra and boron–boron bonding. La3Re2B5 features fairly common B2 dumbbells, whereas La2Re3B7 has unique one-dimensional subunits composed of alternating triangular B3 and trans-B4 zigzag chain fragments. Also observed in La3Re2B5 is an unusual coordination of B by an octahedron of La atoms. Electronic band structure calculations predict that La2Re3B7 is a semimetal, which is observed in the electrical resistivity data as measured on single crystals, with behavior obeying the Bloch–Grüneisen model and a room-temperature resistivity ρ300 K of ∼375 μΩ cm. The electronic band structure calculations also suggest that La3Re2B5 is a regular metal.