Synthesis and polymorphism of mixed aluminium-gallium oxides

Daniel S. Cook, Joseph Edward Hooper, Daniel McLean Dawson, Janet M. Fisher, David Thompsett, Sharon E. Ashbrook*, Richard I. Walton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


The synthesis of a new solidsolution of the oxyhydroxide Ga5–xAlxO7(OH) isinvestigated via solvothermalreaction between gallium acetylacetonate and aluminium isopropoxide in1,4-butanediol at 240 °C. A limited compositional range 0 ≤ x ≤ 1.5 is produced, with the hexagonalunit cell parameters refined from powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) showing alinear contraction in unit cell volume with increasing Al content. Solid-state 27Aland 71Ga NMR spectroscopy show a strong preference for Ga to occupythe tetrahedral sites and Al to occupy the octahedral sites. Using isopropanolas the solvent, g-Ga2–xAlxO3defect spinel solid solutions with x ≤ 1.8 can be prepared at 240 °C in24 hours. These materials are nanocrystalline, as evidenced by their broaddiffraction profiles, but the refined cubic lattice parameter shows a linearrelationship with the Ga:Al content and solid-state NMR spectroscopy again showsa preference for Al to occupy the octahedral sites. Thermal decomposition ofthe Ga5–xAlxO7(OH)occurs via poorly ordered materials that resemble e-Ga2–xAlxO3and k-Ga2–xAlxO3,but g-Ga2–xAlxO3transforms above 750 °C to monoclinic b-Ga2–xAlxO3for 0 ≤ x ≤ 1.3 and to hexagonal a-Ga2–xAlxO3for x = 1.8, with intermediate compositions 1.3 < x < 1.8 giving mixturesof the aand b polymorphs.Solid-state NMR spectroscopy shows only the expected octahedral Al for a-Ga2–xAlxO3and, for b-Ga2–xAlxO3,the ~1:2 ratio of tetrahedral:octahedral Al is in good agreement with Rietveldanalysis of the average structures against powder XRD data. Relative energiescalculated by periodic density functional theory (DFT) confirm that there is a~5.2 kJ mol–1 penalty for tetrahedral rather than octahedral Al inGa5–xAlxO7(OH), whereas this penalty is muchlower (~2.0 kJ mol–1) for b-Ga2–xAlxO3,in good qualitative agreement with the experimental NMR spectra.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInorganic Chemistry
VolumeArticle ASAP
Early online date24 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Feb 2020


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