Chemical Metals Science
Intermetallic compounds contain elements located left of the Zintl line in the Periodic Table. They are formed and exist under conditions of electron deficiency. As a consequence, on the one hand, the classical concepts of chemical bonding in inorganic materials, namely valence scales and electron counting rules, do not work for these substances because of the low number of available valence electrons. On the other hand, the development of new concepts based e.g. on quantum chemical calculations is hindered by the complexity of the crystal and electronic structure of these compounds. Balancing these considerations is at heart of the research at the Department of Chemical Metals Science.
Due to the boundary conditions above, the general strategy of research on intermetallic compounds at the Chemical Metals Science department is based on the interplay of experimental and theoretical techniques and is performed in four main directions: i) synthesis of new substances and development of the new preparation routes, ii) characterization of chemical composition, thermodynamic stability, crystal structure and microstructure of materials, iii) analysis of chemical bonding, and iv) studies on chemical and physical properties and their relationship to chemical bonding and crystal structure of new substances and materials.