Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

John D. Corbett


Exploration of the alkali metal/alkaline-earth metal/heavy tetrel (Sn or Pb) systems has revealed a vast array of new chemistry and novel structure types. The structures and properties of these new materials have been studied in an attempt to understand the chemistry of these and other related systems. The first phase reported is Rb4Pb9 (K4Pb 9 type). The compound contains two different types of Pb9 4- deltahedra, a monocapped square pyramid and a distorted tricapped trigonal prism. Both cluster geometries correspond to a nido assignment even though the tricapped trigonal prism is not the classic Wade's rules nido deltahedron expected for a monocapped square antiprism.;Also, a series of compounds that contain square pyramidal Tt5 polyanions of tin and lead has been obtained in alkaline-earth or rare-earth metal-tetrel systems by direct fusion of the elements to yield Sr3Sn 5, Ba3Pb5, and La3Sn5. These phases contain square pyramidal clusters of the tetrel elements that are weakly interlinked into chains via two types of longer intercluster interactions that are mediated by bridging cations and substantially influenced by cation size and the free electron count.;Attempts at incorporating another main-group element to form heteroatomic clusters were also successful. In the case of A5InPb8 (A = K, Rb), the compounds contain clusters composed of two Pb4 tetrahedra that are interbridged by a lone mu6-In atom. The InPb 8 units are weakly interlinked into sheets in the ab plane by long intercluster Pb-Pb interactions. Using As led to the formation of the compound K5As3Pb3 which is made up of As3Pb35- crown clusters that can be likened to a 6-atom hypho-cluster based on the tricapped trigonal parent as the closo structure. These crowns are connected via intercluster bonds to form infinite chains down the b axis. This work also reports on a disordered phase Na23In 40.4(1)Pd2.51(2). The major structural features include a 12-bonded-closo-In12 icosahedron, a 15-bonded- closo-In15 cluster, and an 18-bonded-21-atom spacer.;This research was supported by the Office of the Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences Division, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The Ames Laboratory is operated for DOE by Iowa State University under Contract No. W-7405-Eng-82.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Michael Thomas Klem



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

128 pages