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Making gallium hydride


Motivation for working on gallium hydride
Norman Greenwood Scientist
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But back to aluminium and gallium, that aroused interest, as I said. Gallium was entirely novel work, and the problem was as one could make aluminium hydride and boron hydride, could one make gallium hydride? There had been a little bit of work done in Schlesinger’s group in Chicago making lithium gallium hydride at the same time that the famous reagent lithium aluminium hydride had been made, but that hadn’t been followed up, and we were actually trying to get free gallium hydride, GaH3, and to see whether it was dimeric or not, because as you remember, diborane is B2H6, aluminium hydride was a solid, AlH3. Was gallium hydride a dimer, like its chloride was, or was it a solid, like aluminium hydride? That was the motivation.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: University of Chicago, Hermann Irving Schlesinger

Duration: 1 minute, 2 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011