Hydrogenation Properties of LnAl2 (Ln = La, Eu, Yb), LaGa2, LaSi2 and the Crystal Structure of LaGa2H0.71(2)
Many Zintl phases take up hydrogen and form hydrides. Hydrogen atoms occupy interstitial sites formed by alkali or alkaline earth metals and / or bind covalently to the polyanions. The latter is the case for polyanionic hydrides like SrTr2H2 (Tr = Al, Ga) with slightly puckered honeycomb-like polyanions decorated with hydrogen atoms. This study addresses the hydrogenation behavior of LnTr2, where the lanthanide metals Ln introduce one additional valence electron. Hydrogenation reactions were
... n reactions were performed in autoclaves and followed by thermal analysis up to 5.0 MPa hydrogen gas pressure. Products were analyzed by powder X-ray and neutron diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and NMR spectroscopy. Phases LnAl2 (Ln = La, Eu, Yb) decompose into binary hydrides and aluminium-rich intermetallics upon hydrogenation, while LaGa2 forms a ternary hydride LaGa2H0.71(2). Hydrogen atoms are statistically distributed over two kinds of trigonal-bipyramidal La3Ga2 interstitials with 67% and 4% occupancy, respectively. Ga-H distances (2.4992(2) Å) are considerably longer than in polyanionic hydrides and not indicative of covalent bonding. 2H solid-state NMR spectroscopy and theoretical calculations on Density Functional Theory (DFT) level confirm that LaGa2H0.7 is a typical interstitial metallic hydride.