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Title: Redox-Mediated Stabilization in Zinc Molybdenum Nitrides

We report on the theoretical prediction and experimental realization of new ternary zinc molybdenum nitride compounds. We used theory to identify previously unknown ternary compounds in the Zn-Mo-N systems, Zn 3MoN 4 and ZnMoN 2, and to analyze their bonding environment. Experiments show that Zn-Mo-N alloys can form in broad composition range from Zn 3MoN 4 to ZnMoN 2 in the wurtzite-derived structure, accommodating very large off-stoichiometry. Interestingly, the measured wurtzite-derived structure of the alloys is metastable for the ZnMoN 2 stoichiometry, in contrast to the Zn 3MoN 4 stoichiometry, where ordered wurtzite is predicted to be the ground state. The formation of Zn 3MoN 4-ZnMoN 2 alloy with wurtzite-derived crystal structure is enabled by the concomitant ability of Mo to change oxidation state from +VI in Zn 3MoN 4 to +IV in ZnMoN 2, and the capability of Zn to contribute to the bonding states of both compounds, an effect that we define as 'redox-mediated stabilization.' The stabilization of Mo in both the +VI and +IV oxidation states is due to the intermediate electronegativity of Zn, which enables significant polar covalent bonding in both Zn 3MoN 4 and ZnMoN 2 compounds. The smooth change in the Mo oxidation statemore » between Zn 3MoN 4 and ZnMoN 2 stoichiometries leads to a continuous change in optoelectronic properties - from resistive and semitransparent Zn 3MoN 4 to conductive and absorptive ZnMoN 2. The reported redox-mediated stabilization in zinc molybdenum nitrides suggests there might be many undiscovered ternary compounds with one metal having an intermediate electronegativity, enabling significant covalent bonding, and another metal capable of accommodating multiple oxidation states, enabling stoichiometric flexibility.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [3] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  3. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  5. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  6. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7863
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the American Chemical Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7863
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; zinc molybdenum nitrides; ternary compounds; composition
OSTI Identifier: