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Soft Chemical Control of the Physical Properties of Layered Solids

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SOLLAY (Soft Chemical Control of the Physical Properties of Layered Solids)

Reporting period: 2016-07-26 to 2018-07-25

This research programme is fundamental solid state chemistry at the boundary with condensed matter physics. The overall objectives were the synthesis and characterisation new transition metal containing solids with layered crystal structures and other layered compounds, with the aim to put them on the world stage by exploiting the compositional tunability which is intrinsic to non-molecular systems. The chemical rationalisation of new composition-structure-property relationships is anticipated to lead eventually to future industrial developments in applications as wide ranging as superconductors, thermoelectric materials, magnetic materials, batteries and heterogeneous catalysis.

The project will develop science and the fellow through the pursuit of ground-breaking and adventurous research directions at one of the forefronts of solid state chemistry and will develop the researcher as an independent group leader.

The conclusion of the project is that there is great diversity and tunability in these layered systems and the most significant output from the research is the discovery of new intercalates of bismuth selenide.
The technical report summarises the main discoveries of the research which are: 1. the significant range of compositions in a series of layered oxide chalcogenides of manganese with tunable structural, electronic and magnetic properties. Considerable headway has been made in the investigation of these systems. 2. The discovery of a new series of intercalate compounds of bismuth selenide obtained by the reaction between this solid and alkali metal / ammonia solutions. This work opens up a new research front. These results will lead to a range of physical characterisation measurement with an assessment of whether the compounds may be useful, and the work will be dissemminated through normal channels. Publications are being prepared for high impcat journals and the work will be disseminated at forthcoming conferences.
All the work is at the cutting edge of current research. All the compounds synthesised are new and unusual techniques such as in situ diffraction measurements to follow the chemical reactions allow valuable information about the reactivity of solids to be determined. This proposal is representative of state-of-the-art solid state chemistry. The potential impacts are not yet clear as this is early stage fundamental research, but if the compounds have some use the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications may be significant.
Diffraction pattern evolution