Calcium Hexaboride

Calcium hexaboride, CaB6, is a compound of calcium and boron. It has an octahedral crystal structure. The crystalline material can be synthesized from boron trichloride. Boron trichloride is a raw material for producing high purity metal alloys.

Calcium hexaboride is used in aerospace and energy industries for its excellent thermal and chemical stability. It is also used in rocket nozzles. This compound is insoluble in water, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid at normal temperatures. However, it is slightly soluble in concentrated sulfuric acid.

Calcium hexaboride possesses high hardness and high melting point. It is used as a deoxidation agent in the production of oxygen-free copper. Moreover, it is highly magnetic.

Calcium hexaboride can be synthesized from boron and calcium carbonate. A simple co-precipitation method was used. Calcium carbonate was mechanically mixed with boric acid. When the solution was heated, diborane (B2H6) was added as a catalyst. Pyrolysis of diborane at 860-900 degC produced a crystalline CaB6 in the sample.

Borides are known for their unique crystal structures. Their high melting points and stable physical properties make them very versatile materials. They have a wide range of applications, including wear resistance enhancement of converter bricks, energy density batteries, and anti-neutron radiation in nuclear reactors.

One of the main reasons why the commercial attempts to synthesize calcium boride have failed is due to the limited particle size range. Recently, scientists from Argonne National Laboratory have developed an innovative method of synthesis for calcium boride.

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