Carbon-boron clathrates as a new class of sp3-bonded framework materials

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Science Advances  10 Jan 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 2, eaay8361
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay8361


Carbon-based frameworks composed of sp3 bonding represent a class of extremely lightweight strong materials, but only diamond and a handful of other compounds exist despite numerous predictions. Thus, there remains a large gap between the number of plausible structures predicted and those synthesized. We used a chemical design principle based on boron substitution to predict and synthesize a three-dimensional carbon-boron framework in a host/guest clathrate structure. The clathrate, with composition 2Sr@B6C6, exhibits the cubic bipartite sodalite structure (type VII clathrate) composed of sp3-bonded truncated octahedral C12B12 host cages that trap Sr2+ guest cations. The clathrate not only maintains the robust nature of diamond-like sp3 bonding but also offers potential for a broad range of compounds with tunable properties through substitution of guest atoms within the cages.

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