Optical vs. Thermodynamic Basicities: Probe Pb2+ Ion Spectra in Thermodynamically Characterized Molten Chloroaluminate Solutions

C. A. Angell, P. D. Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The energy of the outer-shell 3P11S0 transition of Pb2+ doped into various binary chloroaluminate solutions has been studied in an attempt to gain insight into the changes in electronic states of anions in a binary chloride solution state as the composition is changed through a region of abrupt thermodynamic changes (equivalence point). Sudden shifts in the band maximum of as much as 3000 cm−1 are observed to occur at the stoichiometry of AlCl4, the range over which the change occurs closely matching the 0.5 mol % wide region of rapid chloride activity change observed in earlier measurements. In the case of the low-melting system A1C13 + ethylammonium chloride, spectra were taken at 0.05 mol % intervals at 90 °C and it was noted that the entire energy shift occurred across a 0.2 mol % gap in which the Pb2+ was quantitatively rejected from solution (presumably as PbCl2 although Pb(AlCl4)2 has not been excluded). In this case a second composition region of spectral shift was found that corresponds with one in which NMR studies in a related system also indicate a second acid-base process. The correlation with thermodynamically determined basicity changes in these systems is good enough to justify the use of Pb2+ as a basicity indicator and to lend credence to the optical basicity scale proposed on the basis of the nephelauxetic effect for d10s2 cations in acid media. However, measurements to be reported separately on the isoelectronic Tl+ and Bi3+ spectra in the same systems show that caution is necessary. An ion in this series will only be an effective and reliable indicator for basicity changes if, as for aqueous acid-base indicators, it is approximately midway in basicity between the acidic and basic species being reacted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6304-6309
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical vs. Thermodynamic Basicities: Probe Pb2+ Ion Spectra in Thermodynamically Characterized Molten Chloroaluminate Solutions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this