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The boron-rich boron sub-oxide rhombohedral B6O considered in B12O2 full formulation has a large O-O spacing of similar to 3 angstrom and a central vacant position that can receive interstitial atoms X, forming a central O-X-O alignment in the dodecaboron cage as observed in well-known triatomic B-12 compounds as B-12{C-C-C}, B-12{N-B-N}, etc. Plane wave density functional theory (DFT) based calculations of unrestricted geometry relaxation of B-12{O-X-O}, X = B, C, N, and O let one identify new ternary sub-oxides, all found cohesive while showing different d(X-O) distances ranging from d(B-O) = 1.95 angstrom down to d(O-O) = 1.73 angstrom with intermediate d(C-O) = 1.88 angstrom. The different magnitudes were assigned to the chemical affinities of X-inserts versus host oxygen with the increasing development of X-O bonding along the series with larger cohesive B-12{O-O-O}. From the atom projected charge density, B presents none, while significant magnitudes are shown on C and N, the latter developing bonding with terminal oxygen atoms especially N. The presence of unpaired valence electrons leaves nonbonding charge density on X = C, N interstitial compounds, which, besides the relative isolation of the central C and N lead to the onset of magnetic moments: M(C) = 1.9 mu(B), and M(N) = 1 mu(B) in a ferromagnetic ground state. Atom-resolved assessments are provided with the magnetic charge density and electron localization function electron localization function (ELF) projections on one hand and the site and spin projected density of states and the chemical bonding based on the overlap integral S-ij within the COOP criterion, on the other hand.


Matar, Samir F.;  Etourneau, Jean

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