MOSCOW, December 15. /TASS/. A researcher from the Siberian Federal University (SFU) has decrypted the structure and described the properties of a new substance synthesized by his Chinese colleagues. It turns out that this substance belongs to a previously unknown class and it can be used as a basis for the eco-friendly production of luminophores.
The article on the new substance written by a joint Russian-Chinese team has been published in the Chemistry: A European Journal.
After mixing the nitrates of rare-earth elements with sulfates and hydrates of ammonium, Chinese material scientists yielded a new substance. The Chinese chemists could not establish its structure and properties and, so they turned to Maxim Molokeev, a research assistant at the Kirensky Institute of Physics from the Siberian Branch of the RAS and SFU.
The Russian expert found out that the substance consists of sulfate-ions and rare-elements ions surrounded by oxygen atoms shaped like a three-sided trigonal prism. The tetrahedra constantly change their spatial orientation. This sort of crystal structure is indeed unique, implying that the new class of compounds has been discovered.
Further experiments show that this substance can be utilized to produce luminophores, substances widely used for creating electronic screens and panels. The technology is very handy and ecologically pure. The substrate is heated up to 800 degrees Centigrade, it then releases water and is converted into a luminophore. Now, to manufacture fluorescent dyes, one uses methods causing environmental damage since the technology includes emitting hazardous byproducts.
The mastermind behind this discovery strongly believes that the scientists will discover the whole row of substances from the new class, while further studies will allow for creating the technique of eco-friendly manufacturing of fluorescent dyes.