Neutron diffraction was used to measure the structure of molten ScCl3, YCl3 and LaCl3 to investigate its dependence on cation size: as the cation radius decreases in the order La3+, Y3+, Sc3+ there is a corresponding increase in the 'covalent' contribution to the bonding. In the transition from the (high temperature) crystalline to the liquid phase, the coordination number of chloride ions around the cation reduces from 9 to ≈6.4 in LaCl3, changes little from 6 to 5.7(4) in YCl3, and decreases from 6 to 4.8(2) in ScCl3. The data will allow for a test of the extent to which recently developed polarizable ion models can account for the observed structural trends.
- Liquid structure
- Molten salts
- Neutron diffraction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering