Helices, chirality and interpenetration: The versatility and remarkable interconversion of silver-copper cyanide frameworks

  • Chippindale A
  • Hibble S
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The structural transformations between cesium silver-copper cyanides under modest conditions, both in solution and in the solid state, are described. Three new cesium silver(I) copper(I) cyanides with three-dimensional (3-D) framework structures were prepared as single crystals from a one-pot reaction initially heated under hydrothermal conditions. The first product to appear, Cs(3)Ag(2)Cu(3)(CN)(8) (I), when left in contact with the supernatant produced CsAgCu(CN)(3) (II) and CsAgCu(CN)(3).1/3H(2)O (III) over a few months via a series of thermodynamically controlled cascade reactions. Crystals of the hydrate (III) can be dehydrated to polycrystalline CsAgCu(CN)(3) (II) on heating at 100 degrees C in a remarkable solid-state transformation involving substantial breaking and reconnection of metal-cyanide linkages. Astonishingly, the conversion between the two known polymorphs of CsAg(2)Cu(CN)(4), which also involves a major change in connectivity and topology, occurs at 180 degrees C as a single-crystal to single-crystal transformation. Structural features of note in these materials include the presence of helical copper-cyanide chains in (I) and (II), which in the latter compound produce a chiral material. In (II) and (III), the silver-copper cyanide networks are both self- and interpenetrating, features also seen in the known polymorphs of CsAg(2)Cu(CN)(4).

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  • Ann M. Chippindale

  • Simon J. Hibble

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