Visualizing lone pairs in compounds containing heavier congeners of the carbon and nitrogen group elements
In this mini-review, I discuss some recent work on the stereochemistry and bonding of lone pairs of electrons in divalent compounds of the heavier carbon group elements (SnII , PbII) and in trivalent compounds of the heavier nitrogen group elements (BiIII). Recently developed methods that permit the real-space visualization of bonding patterns on the basis of density functional calculations of electronic structure, reveal details of the nature of s electron lone pairs in compounds of the heavier main group elements — their stereochemistry and their inertness (or lack thereof). An examination of tetragonalP4/nmm SnO, α-PbO and BiOF, and cubic$$Fm\bar 3m$$PbS provides a segue into perovskite phases of technological significance, including ferroelectric PbTiO3 and antiferroelectric/piezoelectric PbZrO3, in both of which the lone pairs on Pb atoms play a pivotal rôle.
Volume 134, 2022
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