Cornelius Peter Groen, Ad Oskam, and Attila Kovács

Theoretical Study of Mixed MLaX4 (M=Na, K, Cs; X = F, Cl, Br, I) Rare Earth/Alkali Halide Complexes

Inorganic Chemistry, 42 (2003) 851-858




The structure, bonding and vibrational properties of the mixed MLaX4 (M = Na, K, Cs; X = F, Cl, Br, I) rare earth/alkali halide complexes have been studied using the MP2 method in conjunction with polarized triple-zeta valence basis sets and quasi-relativistic effective core potentials for the heavy atoms. From the three characteristic structures, possessing one- (C3v), two- (C2v) or three-fold coordination (C3v) between the alkali metal and the bridging halide atoms, the bi- and tridentate forms are stable isomers with close dissociation energies. In general, for the complexes existing of lighter alkali metals and halogens, the bidentate structure corresponds to the global minimum of the potential energy surface, while the heavier analogues favor the tridentate structure. At experimentally relevant temperatures (T > 800K), however, the isomerisation entropy leads to a domination of the bidentate structures over the tridentate forms for all complexes. An important effect of the size of the alkali metal is manifested in the larger stabilities of the K and Cs complexes. The natural atomic charges are in agreement with strong electrostatic interactions in the title complexes. The marginal covalent contributions show a slight increasing trend in the heavier analogues. The calculated vibrational data indicate that infrared spectroscopy may be an effective tool for experimental investigation and characterization of MLaX4 molecules.