Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Wiley, John B.

Second Advisor

Tarr, Matthew A.

Third Advisor

Stevens, Edwin D.

Fourth Advisor

Poudeu, Pierre F.

Fifth Advisor

Gibb, Bruce C.


Topochemical strategies, techniques that allow one to effectively manipulate the structures of nonmolecular solids once a crystal lattice is established, are effective in the low temperature (< 500 °C) modification of solid state structures, allowing the preparation of nonmolecular compounds not accessible by standard synthetic routes. Some of the techniques, ion exchange, intercalation/deintercalation, have proven to be excellent synthetic methods for preserving specific frameworks. The combination of these techniques can allow one to create a multistep approach that can be used to design new compounds with interesting properties.

As an expansion to the field of topotactic reactions, a multistep approach was developed towards the synthesis of the new compounds (A xM0.5Cly)LaNb2O7 (where A = Rb, Cs; M = Fe, Ni; x ≈ 1.5;y ≈ 1) at temperatures below 400oC. The first reaction step involved the ion exchange of the host materials (ALaNb2O7, A = Rb, Cs) to form the products M0.5LaNb2O7 (where M = Fe, Ni), a structure open to further chemistry. The next step involved reductive intercalation with Rb or Cs metal to form the air sensitive mixed-valence products with the nominal compositions, A1.5M0.5LaNb2O7. The last step involved the oxidative intercalation of chlorine using chlorine gas to obtain the final compounds. This multistep approach is a design to form mix-metal halide layers, specifically those with divalent cations, within layered perovskites, opening the doors to compounds that can have interesting properties.

This reaction series was also applied to the tantalate layered oxides, leading to the formation of the new compound Ni 0.5LaTa2O7 through ion exchange. The further multistep

topochemical manipulation of this new compound was not successful and was indicative of the difference in chemical behavior of the tantalates versus the niobates.

We have also investigated the oxidative intercalation of halogens into a series of Ruddlesden-Popper (R-P) ruthenate oxides with the formula Ae n+1RunO3n+1 (Ae = Ca, Sr; n = 1, 2, 3) using several sources of fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. A new method was developed to intercalate chlorine into layered systems; this new approach avoids the use of chlorine gas which is highly toxic. The new phase Sr3Ru2O7Cl0.7 was synthesized by the new method and further topotactic manipulations were explored. The chemistry was not limited to the n = 2 phase but was also applied to the n = 3 phase, Sr4Ru3O10.


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