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Issue 15, 2010
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The crystal structures of the low-temperature and high-pressure polymorphs of nitric acid

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Abstract

A new high-pressure phase of pure nitric acid (HNO3) has been characterised at 1.6 GPa at room temperature by high-pressure neutron powder and X-ray single-crystal diffraction techniques. This is the first crystalline phase obtained upon compression of liquid nitric acid at room temperature and appears to be the stable phase up to pressures of at least 4 GPa. The crystal structure of this new phase shows some similarities to that of the low-temperature phase of nitric acid at ambient pressure, which has been redetermined as part of this study. Both structures share a herringbone packing of hydrogen-bonded molecular catemers, although the presence of disorder within the hydrogen bonds within one of the catemers of the low-temperature phase makes its structure comparatively more complex.

Graphical abstract: The crystal structures of the low-temperature and high-pressure polymorphs of nitric acid

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Nov 2009, accepted on 10 Feb 2010 and first published on 11 Mar 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B923975H
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2010,39, 3736-3743
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    The crystal structures of the low-temperature and high-pressure polymorphs of nitric acid

    D. R. Allan, W. G. Marshall, D. J. Francis, I. D. H. Oswald, C. R. Pulham and C. Spanswick, Dalton Trans., 2010, 39, 3736
    DOI: 10.1039/B923975H

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