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On the properties of Au₂P₃ᶻ (z = −1, 0, +1): analysis of geometry, interaction, and electron density

Xu, Kang-Ming, Jiang, Shuai, Zhu, Yu-Peng, Huang, Teng, Liu, Yi-Rong, Zhang, Yang, Lv, Yu-Zhou, Huang, Wei
RSC advances 2015 v.5 no.33 pp. 26071-26080
chemical bonding, deformation, density functional theory, geometry, gold, phosphides, semiconductors
Au₂P₃, the only metastable binary phase of gold phosphide, has been discovered to exhibit remarkable semiconductor properties among metal phosphides. A systematic study on the geometry, the transformation of Au₂P₃ into different valence states and the different interactions among the atoms of the species is performed by using the density functional theory (DFT) method. The global minimum of Au₂P₃⁻ is a 3D structure with Cₛ symmetry. This structure could be distorted from a planar configuration of Au₂P₃ which decreases the steric effect on it and leads to a new stable configuration. An analogous planar configuration, a local minimum rather than a global minimum, is also found in Au₂P₃⁺, due to the electron effect acting on the structure. Natural bond orbital (NBO) analysis reveals the re-distribution progression of the charge within the species. The central located Au atom and another no. 5 positioned P atom play significant roles on the structures. P5, as an electron adjuster, balances the electron distribution at different valence states of the structures. Deformation density analysis supplies information about charge transfer and the bonding type between two adjacent atoms as well. Looking deep into the bonding types, as electron localization function (ELF) suggests, the interaction between two adjacent P atoms (P3 and P4) of Au₂P₃ belongs to a strong covalent bond. The Au–P interactions among the configurations could be classified as weak classical covalent bonds through the atoms in molecules (AIM) dual parameter analysis. And for the first time, the weak interaction between the two adjacent Au atoms (Au1 and Au2) of the charged states of Au₂P₃ (Au₂P₃⁻ and Au₂P₃⁺), are verified and different from the neutral Au₂P₃ through the reduced density gradient (RDG) analysis.