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Decomposition of Molybdenum Hexacarbonyl


THE publication of results by Clougherty1 and by Kaye2 of the preparation of face-centred cubic molybdenum monocarbide, and by Goldschmidt3 of the preparation of face-centred cubic ditungsten carbide, have led us to re-examine the face-centred cubic dimolybdenum carbide reported by Lander and Germer4. They observed its formation while trying to plate metallic substrates maintained at 300° to 475° C with molybdenum, formed by the pyrolysis of molybdenum hexacarbonyl in the presence of partial pressures of carbon monoxide ranging from 0.02 to 0.22 torr. The deposit had a face-centred cubic structure with a cell edge of 4.14 Å and was believed to be Mo2C, although full chemical analyses were not reported. They suggested it was isostructural with the Mo2 N phase reported by Hägg5, which is believed to have a rock salt structure with a defective anion sublattice. A phase, identified as face-centred cubic Mo2C, has been noted by Kuo6 as a precipitate in high-speed steels, although no lattice parameter was reported.

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  6. Kuo, Kehsin, J. Iron and Steel Inst., 174, 233 (1953).

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FERGUSON, I., AINSCOUGH, J., MORSE, D. et al. Decomposition of Molybdenum Hexacarbonyl. Nature 202, 1327–1328 (1964).

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