Synthesis of ditungsten carbide by controlled decomposition of Cp2W2(CO)4 (dmad) under a hydrogen atmosphere

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Controlled decomposition studies of the bis(cyclopentadienyl)ditungsten(tetracarbonyl)-dimethylacetylenedicarboxylate (Cp2W2(CO)4(dmad)) under flowing hydrogen show that it totally decomposes at 600 °C for 2 h to give a pure bulk W2C as revealed by X-ray diffraction. Excess oxygen and carbon at the surface are detected by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. An in situ temperature-programmed X-ray diffraction experiment performed on Cp2W2(CO)4 (dmad) shows the detection temperature of W2C to be 600 °C, the sample being amorphous or microcrystalline below that temperature. Based on previous results obtained for the decomposition of Cp2Mo2(CO)4(dmad) on the one hand, and thermogravimetric and chromatographic analyses performed on Cp2W2(CO)4 (dmad), on the other, a decomposition scheme of the latter under hydrogen has been proposed.

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