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The structures of the ammonium halides

Raghurama, G and Narayanan, R (1983) The structures of the ammonium halides. In: Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids, 44 (7). pp. 633-638.

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Abstract

A comparison with the alkali halides suggests that all the ammonium halides should occur in the NaCl centre-of-mass structure. Experimentally, at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, only NH4I crystallizes in this structure, while NH4F is found in the ZnO structure, and NH4C1 and NH4Br occur in the CsCl structure. We show that a distributed charge on the NH4+ ion can explain these structures. Taking charges of + 0.2e on each of the five atoms in NH4+, as suggested by other studies, we have recomputed the Madelung energy in the cases of interest. A full ionic theory including electrostatic, van der Waals and repulsive interactions then explains the centre-of-mass structures of all the four ammonium halides. The thermal and pressure transitions are also explained reasonably well. The calculated phase diagram of NH4F compares well with experiment. Barring the poorly understood NH4F(II) phase, which is beyond the scope of this work, the other features are in qualitative agreement. In particular, the theory correctly predicts a pressure transition at room temperature from the ZnO structure directly to the CsCl structure without an intermediate NaCl phase. A feature of our approach is that we do not need to invoke hydrogen bonding in NH4F.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Department/Centre: Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2010 11:34
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:34
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/20701

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