Ubiquitous trisulfur radical anion: fundamentals and applications in materials science, electrochemistry, analytical chemistry and geochemistry
The trisulfur radical anion [S3]˙− is well-known from inorganic chemistry textbooks as the blue chromophore in ultramarine blues in which this highly reactive species is trapped in a zeolitic framework. Recent findings have revealed that [S3]˙− has a multi-faceted role in a variety of media, including alkali metal–sulfur batteries, aqueous solutions at high temperatures and pressures, and ionic liquids; it has also been used to detect trace amounts of water in organic solvents. This tutorial review illustrates how various physical techniques are used to identify a reactive species in solution and shows how elucidation of electronic structures can be used to explain spectroscopic and structural properties. Examples of the function of [S3]˙− in materials science, electrochemistry, analytical chemistry and geochemistry are used to illustrate the widespread influence of this fundamentally important triatomic sulfur species.