Structural Evolution of Ammonia Borane for Hydrogen Storage

Jinbo Yang
Jagat Lamsal
Qingsheng Cai
William B. Yelon, Missouri University of Science and Technology
William Joseph James, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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We have studied the crystal structure of fully deuterated BH3NH3 using powder neutron diffraction at different temperatures. It is evident that an order-disorder phase transition occurs around 225 K. At low temperature, the compound crystallizes in the orthorhombic structure with space group Pnm21 and gradually transforms to a high temperature tetragonal structure with space group I4 mm above 225 K. At 16 K, the BD3-ND3 unit stacks along the c axis with a tilt angle of about 16° between the N-B bond and the c axis. As the temperature is increased, the BD3-ND3 groups start to reorient along the c axis and the deuterium atoms become disordered, leading to the tetragonal phase transition.