Catalysis Today, Vol.354, 26-35, 2020
Condensation of ammonium niobium oxalate studied by NMR crystallography and X-ray powder diffraction
Unusual structure transformation in NH 4 [NbO(C 2 O 4 ) 2 (H 2 O) 2 ]?nH 2 O was discovered and investigated by com- bination of techniques including NMR crystallography (variable temperature 1 H, 2 H, 13 C and 93 Nb solid-state NMR methods), X -Ray powder diffraction, simultaneous thermal analysis and DFT calculations. It has been revealed that the mixture of known oxalate phases NH 4 [NbO(C 2 O 4 ) 2 (H 2 O) 2 ]?3H 2 O (Phase I) and NH 4 [NbO (C 2 O 4 ) 2 (H 2 O) 2 ]?2H 2 O (Phase II) treated at mild condition (temperature up to 100 ?C in vacuo ) induces an un- known crystal phase, catena-NH 4 [NbO 2/2 (C 2 O 4 ) 2 (H 2 O)] (Phase III). The new orthorhombic phase has polymeric structure consisted of 7 -coordinated niobium fragments [NbO 2/2 (C 2 O 4 ) 2 (H 2 O)] connected by oxygen bridges (-Nb-O-Nb-) forming the infinite zigzag chains along the c axis. The bridging oxygen atoms are connected to Nb symmetrically with respect to the 2 -fold axis. Each of them forms two identical bonds Nb-O of 1.892(6) ? length, indicating their origination from the condensation process. The niobium coordination polyhedron can be crossed by the plane passing through the Nb, (O) 2/2 , (H 2 O) atoms. The oxalate groups lie in the opposite sides from the plane. In the new phase, 93 Nb has unusually small nuclear quadrupole coupling constant mainly due to the developed thermal mobility of the crystal lattice. Variable temperature 93 Nb, 2 H and 13 C NMR experiments together with DFT calculations confirm that the new Phase III has proton and ligand mobility. This mobility of the lattice correlates with the fact that hydrogen bonds network stabilizing the structure of Phases I and II practically disappear in the new Phase III.