Lithium nitride

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Name = Lithium Nitride
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IUPACName = trilithium(1+) azanetriide
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OtherNames = lithium nitride
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
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CASNo = 26134-62-3
EINECS = 247-475-2
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SMILES = [Li] N( [Li] ) [Li]
InChI = 1/3Li.N
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Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = Li3N
MolarMass = 34.82974 g·mol−1
Appearance = red, purple solid
Density = 1.270 g·cm−3
MeltingPt = 1086 K
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OtherCations = Sodium nitride
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Lithium nitride is a compound of lithium and nitrogen with the formula Li3N. It is the only stable alkali metal nitride. The solid is a red or purple color and has a high melting point.

Li3N has an unusual crystal structure that consists of two types of layers, one sheet has the composition Li2N contains 6 coordinate Li centers and the other sheet consist only of lithium cations. Solid lithium nitride is a fast ion conductor and has the highest conductivity of any inorganic lithium salt. It has been studied extensively as a solid electrolyte and an anode material for use in batteries. [US patent 4888258 (1989)] . It can be formed by direct reaction of the elements, either by burning lithium metal in pure nitrogen gas or by reacting nitrogen gas with lithium dissolved in liquid sodium metal. [cite journal | author = Barker M.G., Blake A.J, Edwards P.P., Gregory D.H., Hamor T. A., Siddons D. J., Smith S. E. | journal = Chem. Commun. | year = 1999 | pages = 1187–1188 | doi = 10.1039/a902962a | title = Novel layered lithium nitridonickelates; effect of Li vacancy concentration on N co-ordination geometry and Ni oxidation state] . The second method gives a purer product. Lithium nitride reacts violently with water to produce ammonia:

:Li3N (s) + 3 H2O (l) → 3 LiOH (aq) + NH3 (g)

Other alkali and alkaline earth nitrides also react in this manner, due to the high basicity of the nitride. The hypothetical nitride ion, N3−, would be an extremely strong Bronsted base, easily qualifying as a superbase. It is, in fact, a stronger base than the hydride ion, and so deprotonates hydrogen itself:

:Li3N (s) + 2 H2 (g) → LiNH2 (s) + 2 LiH (s)

Lithium nitride is being investigated as a potential storage medium for hydrogen gas, as the reaction is reversible at 270 °C. Up to 11.5% by weight absorption of hydrogen has been achieved. [cite journal | author = Ping Chen, Zhitao Xiong, Jizhong Luo, Jianyi Lin and Kuang Lee Tan | title = Interaction of hydrogen with metal nitrides and imides" | journal = Nature | volume = 420 | pages = 302–304 | year = 2002 | doi = 10.1038/nature01210]

References

* [http://www.webelements.com/ WebElements]
*Greenwood&Earnshaw


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