Synthesis and structural characterization of the new Zintl phases EuMnBi and YbZnSb

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Two new ternary compounds, EuMnBi and YbZnSb, were synthesized and structurally characterized. The synthesis was achieved either through reactions in sealed niobium tubes or in alumina crucibles by combining the elements in excess molten Sb. Their structures were elucidated using single-crystal X-ray diffraction, and they were determined to crystallize in the orthorhombic space group (no. 65) with the EuCdBi structure type. Akin to the archetype phase, both Mn and Zn sites contain about 25% of vacancies. The anionic substructure of the title phases can be described as [MPn] (M = Zn, Mn; Pn = Sb, Bi) double layers composed of the corner and edge-sharing [MPn] tetrahedra, linked by [Pn] dumbbells. Eu/Yb cations fill the space between the layers, with the valence electron counts adhering closely to the Zintl-Klemm rules, , both EuMnBi and YbZnSb are expected to be valence-precise compounds. Analysis of the electronic structure and transport properties of YbZnSb indicate semimetallic behavior with relatively low Seebeck coefficient and resistivity that slightly decreases as a function of temperature.

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Dalton transactions (Cambridge, England : 2003)

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