Nature of Metals Solution in Liquid Ammonia

Although the general behavior of metals in liquid ammonia has been treated in conjuction with the nature of the metallic state, a more comprehensive examinations of their characteristic appears warranted. Of many published summaries which describe such systems, those given by Johnson and Meyer and by Fernelius and Watt are perhaps the best for consultation because of their completeness and of their comprehensive coverage of the original literature. Of internet too are several less techical discussion.

The alkali metals are readily soluble without appreciable thermal effects and without chemical reaction (in the absence of such catalysts as iron, iron (III) oxide, or platinum or of light of wavelength 2150 - 2550 A which favor amide formation) to give blue solutions which possess identical absorption spectra at given dilutions, and have densities less than the density of pure ammonia. Although the alkaline earth metals yield ammonates, their solutions of the alkali metals.

It is noteworthy that marked solubility among the metals is limited to those metals which readily lose electrons. This given a clue to the generally accepted theory of the constitution of these solutions as proposed by Kraus. Metal atoms are assumed to be is equilibrium with metal ions and free electrons as

M  <===> M +  + e-

the ammonia molecules then solvating these ions and electrons reversible as

+  + x NH3 <===> M(NH3)+
e-   + y NH3 <====> e-(NH3)y


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