Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Low-Temperature Rotational Tunneling of Tetrahydroborate Anions in Lithium Benzimidazolate-Borohydride Li2(blm)BH4



Alexander V. Skripov, Mirjana NMN Dimitrievska, Olga A. Babanova, R. V. Skoryunov, Alexei V. Soloninin, Fabrice Morelle, Y. Filinchuk, Antonio Faraone, Hui Wu, Wei Zhou, Terrence J. Udovic


To investigate the dynamical properties of the novel hybrid compound, lithium benzimidazolate-borohydride Li2(bIm)BH4 (where bIm denotes a benzimidazolate anion, C7N2H5u-^), we have used a set of complementary techniques: neutron powder diffraction, ab initio} density functional theory calculations, neutron vibrational spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, neutron spin echo, and quasielastic neutron scattering. Our measurements performed over the temperature range from 1.5 K to 385 K have revealed the exceptionally fast low-temperature reorientational motion of BH4- anions. This motion is facilitated by the unusual coordination of tetrahedral BH4- anions in Li2(bIm)BH4: each anion has one of its H atoms anchored within a nearly square hollow formed by four coplanar Li+ cations, while the remaining -BH3 fragments extends into a relatively open space, being only lossely coordinated to other atoms. As a result, the energy barriers for reorientations of this fragment around the anchored B-H bond axis are very small, and at low temperatures this motion can be described as rotational tunneling. The tunnel splitting derived from the neutron spin echo measurements at 3.6 K is 0.43(20 υeV. With increasing temperature, we have observed a gradual transition from the regime of low-temperature quantum dynamics to the regime of classical thermally-activated jump reorientations. The jump rate of the uniaxial three-fold reorientations reaches 5 x 1011 s-1 at 80 K. Nearer room temperature and above, both nuclear magnetic resonance and quasielastic neutron scattering measurements has revealed a second process of BH4- reorientations characterized by the activation energy of 261 meV. This process is several orders of magnitude slower than the uniaxial three-fold reorientations; the corresponding jump rate reaches approximately equal}7x108 s-1 at 300 K.
Journal of Physical Chemistry C


lithium benzimidazolate borohydride, NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance, quantum tunneling, quasielastic neutron scattering, QENS, rotational potential, rotational tunneling, tetrahydroborate


Skripov, A. , Dimitrievska, M. , Babanova, O. , Skoryunov, R. , Soloninin, A. , Morelle, F. , Filinchuk, Y. , Faraone, A. , Wu, H. , Zhou, W. and Udovic, T. (2019), Low-Temperature Rotational Tunneling of Tetrahydroborate Anions in Lithium Benzimidazolate-Borohydride Li<sub>2</sub>(blm)BH<sub>4</sub>, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, [online], (Accessed July 14, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created August 6, 2019, Updated October 12, 2021