Exploring the Limits of Transition‐Metal Fluorination at High Pressures
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Fluorination is a proven method for challenging the limits of chemistry, both structurally and electronically. Here we explore computationally how pressures below 300 GPa affect the fluorination of several transition metals. A plethora of new structural phases are predicted along with the possibility for synthesizing four unobserved compounds: TcF7, CdF3, OsF8, and IrF8. The Ir and Os octaflourides are both predicted to be stable as quasi‐molecular phases with an unusual cubic ligand coordination, and both compounds formally correspond to a high oxidation state of +8. Electronic‐structure analysis reveals that otherwise unoccupied 6p levels are brought down in energy by the combined effects of pressure and a strong ligand field. The valence expansion of Os and Ir enables ligand‐to‐metal F 2p→M 6p charge transfer that strengthens M−F bonds and decreases the overall bond polarity. The lower stability of IrF8, and the instability of PtF8 and several other compounds below 300 GPa, is explained by the occupation of M−F antibonding orbitals in octafluorides with a metal‐valence‐electron count exceeding 8.
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