The synthesis and modification of aluminium phosphonates

GB Hix, VJ Carter, DS Wragg, Russell Edward Morris, Paul Anthony Wright

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Two synthetic approaches to the preparation of mixed aluminium phosphite-phosphonate solids have been made. First, the hydrothermal reaction of aluminium hydroxide (gibbsite) with mixtures of phosphorous and methylphosphonic acids under conditions that give microporous aluminium methylphosphonate-beta (AlMePO-beta) when methylphosphonic acid alone is used, and secondly, the reaction of AlMePO-beta with increasing amounts of molten phosphorous acid. Under hydrothermal conditions there is no evidence that AlMePO-beta can be prepared with phosphite groups randomly replacing methylphosphonate groups. Rather, the products are dominated over the intermediate phosphite/phosphonate compositional range by a novel phase that is thought, on the basis of Al-27 and P-31 MAS NMR and FTIR spectroscopies, to contain differing amounts of phosphite and methylphosphonate groups. Reaction of AlMePO-beta with levels of molten phosphorous acid at 40% or more of the methylphosphonate content gives mixtures of AlMePO-beta and a new phosphite phase, whereas reaction using lower amounts of the molten acid leaves AlMePO-beta as the only X-ray visible phase. Extension of the melt method to the separate reaction of gibbsite with methylphosphonic and phosphorous acids yields, respectively, single crystals of a new aluminium methylphosphonate [Al(O3PCH3)(HO3PCH3). H2O] and a known aluminium phosphite [Al-2(O3PH)(3). 4H(2)O], the structure of which had only been solved from powder diffraction data. Single crystal diffractometry improved the accuracy with which the structural parameters of the phosphite are known and enabled structure solution of the new aluminium methylphosphonate [Pnma, a = 19.075(6) Angstrom, b = 5.117(2) Angstrom, c = 8.439(2) Angstrom], which is made up of layers that contain isolated, octahedrally coordinated aluminium linked by methylphosphonate groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-185
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


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