Synthesis, PtS-type structure, and anomalous mechanics of the Cd(CN)2 precursor Cd(NH3)2[Cd(CN)4]
C S Coates, J W Makepeace, A G Seel, M Baise, B Slater and A L Goodwin
Dalton Transactions (2018, in press)

We report the nonaqueous synthesis of Cd(CN)2 by oxidation of cadmium metal with Hg(CN)2 in liquid ammonia. The reaction proceeds via an intermediate of composition Cd(NH3)2[Cd(CN)4], which converts to Cd(CN)2 on prolonged heating. Powder X-ray diffraction measurements allow us to determine the crystal structure of the previously-unreported Cd(NH3)2[Cd(CN)4], which we find to adopt a twofold interpenetrating PtS topology. We discuss the effect of partial oxidation on the Cd/Hg composition of this intermediate, as well as its implications for the reconstructive nature of the deammination process. Variable-temperature X-ray diffraction measurements allow us to characterise the anisotropic negative thermal expansion (NTE) behaviour of Cd(NH3)2[Cd(CN)4] together with the effect of Cd/Hg substitution; \emph{ab initio} density functional theory (DFT) calculations reveal a similarly anomalous mechanical response in the form of both negative linear compressibility (NLC) and negative Poisson’s ratios.