An Introduction to Silver Closo Boranes

Following research into metal borohydride, higher boranes are now being studied. Ag2B12H12 and Ag2B10H10 are synthesized and have demonstrated extremely high ion conductivities, as well as being semiconducting.

Exploring the Advantages of Boranes

Over the years, research into borane materials has expanded to incorporate numerous different properties other than hydrogen storage. This is an example of exploring such beneficial properties, and may serve as a basis for additional property studies of related materials.

Following exposure to an electron beam (TEM), Ag2B12H12 was reduced to metallic silver, which led it to be flagged for further study. Likewise, silver boranes are complexed with AgI, in order to reach high ion conductivities at room temperature.

Synthesis is uncomplicated, and is realized using water as a solvent, providing the desired materials. It is vital to make certain that residual water is completely removed in order to carry out accurate quantification of semi-conducting and ion conducting properties.

Using Mass Spectrometry for Quantifying the Conductivity of Boranes

To achieve this, mass spectrometry was used - studying the release of any remaining gases, and providing assurance that samples were totally dry and free of water. In order to define the thermal stability of the silver boranes and to gain an understanding of the way in which they decompose, the gas spectrum was also examined.

The Hiden Analytical HPR-20 quadrupole mass spectrometer was used, as it guaranteed a clear-cut analysis of the water content and made certain that no unwanted contamination had occurred.  

At the University of Aarhus, The Department of Chemistry and iNANO center, day-to-day studies of materials like borane are supported by examining the residual gases released from materials studied as either classical hydrogen storage materials or, as shown here, for other purposes.

The data collected has proved useful in evaluating synthesis techniques, assessing the purity of materials, and in analyzing behavior upon thermal decomposition of materials.


The data shown in the DSC/MS figures clearly demonstrates the evolution of hydrogen as the silver boranes decompose. Both compounds decompose above 250 oC, discharging a substantial amount of hydrogen.

It is evident that no decomposition or discharge of any gaseous species can be observed when heating to high temperatures for ion conductivity analyses. Therefore, the data gathered from the mass spectroscopy guarantees that the samples are free from impurities and that the derived properties are counted accordingly.


“Multifunctionality of silver closo-boranes” Nature Communications 8, Article number: 15136 (2017). doi:10.1038/ncomms15136

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Hiden Analytical.

For more information on this source, please visit Hiden Analytical.


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