Scientists accidentally discovered a rare compound

Scientists accidentally discovered a rare compound

The metal oxide groups obtained in this study are positively charged (+) in contrast to the conventional negative (-) charged. Surface protons are very acidic, which is important in catalysis. Credit: Mindy Takamiya / Kyoto University iCeMS

Scientists at Kyoto University Institute of Cellular Materials Science have discovered a new cluster compound that could be useful as a cofactor. Compounds, called polyoxometalates, that have a large metal oxide mass that carry a negative charge. They are found everywhere, from antivirals to rechargeable batteries and flash memory devices.

The new block compound is hydroxyiodide (HSbOI) which is unusual, as it contains large positively charged groups. Only a handful of these positively charged cluster compounds have been found and studied.

“in SciencesDiscovery new material Or the molecule could create new science, says Kyoto University chemist Hiroshi Kageyama, “I think these new positively charged groups have great potential.”

The first metal oxide group was discovered in 1826. Since then, chemists have synthesized hundreds of compounds using negatively charged groups, which have properties useful in magnetism, catalysis, ionic conduction, biological applications, and quantum information. Its properties make it useful in a variety of fields from catalysis to medicine and chemical synthesis.

In recent years, scientists have focused their attention on synthesizing compounds with positively charged groups and learning their properties.

Kageyama and his colleague Ryo Abe found a positive group by chance. Since 2016, the two scientists — Kageyama, a solid-state chemist and Abe, a catalyst chemist — have been on a quest to develop new compounds that can absorb visible light for photostimulation. They were studying a substance containing chlorine (Sb .).4a5Cl2) compound and attempt to replace the chlorine atom with iodine.

“However, a new material was obtained that was completely different from what we had mistakenly expected,” says Kageyama.

What the scientists expected is a substance with 22 atoms in a unit cell. What they got instead was a compound with 800 atoms in its cell.

At first, scientists were unable to unravel the structure of the chemical. A traditional technique called powder X-ray diffraction failed when faced with the complexity of the material. A year later, Kageyama thought he could use 3D electron tomography, a cutting-edge electron microscopy technique that had recently gained attention as a tool for imaging the structure of proteins. The scientists approached Artem Abakumov and Joke Hadermann of the University of Antwerp, Belgium, to work on the structure. And when they collaborators Sending the data back, the scientists were happy to see large clusters.

Further laboratory work showed that the hydroxyiodide molecule contains acidic protons, which is important in catalysis.

“This discovery may open up new possibilities in the design of solid-state catalysts,” says Kageyama.

Their work will be published in science progress.

High conductivity anticorrosion with soft anion networks

more information:
Yuki Watanabe et al, Antimony oxide group multisensitive to acidic protons, science progress (2022). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abm5379.

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