The structure of calcium-ammonia solutions by neutron diffraction. / Wasse, J C ; Howard, C A ; Thompson, H ; Skipper, N T ; Delaplane, R G ; Wannberg, A ; Howard, Christopher.

In: JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, Vol. 121, No. 2, 08.07.2004, p. 996-1004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • J C Wasse
  • C A Howard
  • H Thompson
  • N T Skipper
  • R G Delaplane
  • A Wannberg
  • Christopher Howard


The microscopic structures of calcium-ammonia solutions have been established by using neutron diffraction. Total structure factors measured at 230 K reveal immediately the evolution of an uncommonly intense diffraction prepeak in the metallic solutions. As concentration is increased from 4 mole percent metal to 10 mole percent metal (i.e., saturation), this feature intensifies and shifts from 0.6 to 0.9 Angstrom(-1). It is therefore evidence of well developed intermediate-range ordering among the solvated cations, and is a microstructural signature of the observed strong phase separation of metallic (concentrated) and nonmetallic (dilute) solutions. The technique of isotopic labelling of *N by N-15 was then used in conjunction with difference analysis to focus on the solvent structure in metallic solutions at 4 and 10 mole percent metal. These nitrogen-centered functions are analyzed in conjunction with classical Monte Carlo computer simulation techniques, to provide us with detailed insight into the calcium solvation and the extent of hydrogen bonding. We find that calcium is solvated by approximately 6-7 ammonia molecules, with a Ca-N distance of around 2.45 Angstrom. There is evidence of hydrogen bonding among the solvent molecules, even in the saturated 10 mole percent metal solution. (C) 2004 American Institute of Physics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)996-1004
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2004
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 7753716