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11B MAS NMR and First-Principles Study of the [OBO3] Pyramids in Borates

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posted on 25.02.2016, 00:00 by Bing Zhou, Wei Sun, Biao-Chun Zhao, Jin-Xiao Mi, Robert Laskowski, Victor Terskikh, Xi Zhang, Lingyun Yang, Sanda M. Botis, Barbara L. Sherriff, Yuanming Pan
Borates are built from the [Bϕ3] planar triangles and the [Bϕ4] tetrahedral groups, where ϕ denotes O or OH. However, the [Bϕ4] groups in some borates are highly distorted to include three normal B–O bonds and one anomalously long B–O bond and, therefore, are best described as the [OBO3] pyramids. Four synthetic borates of the boracite-type structures (Mg3B7O13Br, Cu3B7O13Br, Zn3B7O13Cl, and Mg3B7O13Cl) containing a range of [OBO3] pyramids were investigated by multifield (7.05, 14.1, and 21.1 T) 11B magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS NMR), triple quantum (3Q) MAS NMR experiments, as well as density functional theory calculations. The high-resolution 11B MAS NMR spectra supported by theoretical predictions show that the [OBO3] pyramids are characterized by isotropic chemical shifts δiso(11B) from 1.4(1) to 4.9(1) ppm and nuclear quadrupole parameters CQ(11B) up to 1.3(1) MHz, both significantly different from those of the [BO4] and [BO3] groups in borates. These δiso(11B) and CQ(11B) values indicate that the [OBO3] pyramids represent an intermediate state between the [BO4] tetrahedra and [BO3] triangles and demonstrate that the 11B NMR parameters of four-coordinate boron oxyanions are sensitive to local structural environments. The orientation of the calculated unique electronic field gradient tensor element Vzz of the [OBO3] pyramids is aligned approximately along the direction of the anomalously long B–O bond, corresponding to B-2pz with the lowest electron density.