Collect. Czech. Chem. Commun. 1983, 48, 2740-2750

Heptamanganese tricarbide Mn7C3

Bohumil Hájek, Pavel Karen and Vlastimil Brožek

Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Prague Institute of Chemical Technology, 166 28 Prague 6


A procedure was examined for the preparation of Mn7C3 by reaction of manganese dust with n-pentane at 850 °C and a reduced pressure. The identity of the product was confirmed by chemical and X-ray diffraction analysis; no other carbide was found to be present. The powder X-ray diffraction patterns were investigated in terms of the structure assignment either to the hexagonal P63mc or the orthorhombic Pnma symmetry. The reflection intensities fit better the latter structure, but the possibility of hexagonal indexing indicates that the octahedral structural elements do not arrange coherently during the synthesis. The composition of the products of hydrolysis is also consistent with the formula Mn7C3. The gaseous products contain hydrogen, methane, and a number of other hydrocarbons, mostly saturated, whose concentration decreases with increasing number of carbon atoms in the molecule. The concentration distribution of the hydrocarbons is discussed in terms of the radical mechanism of the hydrolysis; the data are borne out indicating that in Mn7C3 the covalent nature of the bonds is more pronounced than in salt type carbides.