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Beryllium Nitride, Be3N2

Beryllium Nitride, Be3N2, is similar chemically to aluminium nitride. The amorphous powder obtained by heating the metal in nitrogen above 900° C., fuses at 2200° C. under atmospheric pressure, and solidifies to colourless crystals which scratch glass. It dissociates at 2400° C., is stable in air, slowly decomposed by boiling water, and decomposed more readily than aluminium nitride by dilute acids and hot concentrated alkali hydroxides. Ammonia and beryllium hydroxide result from these reactions.

Heating in ammonia secures a more complete conversion to nitride than heating in nitrogen. A mixture of beryllia and carbon also yields the nitride at 1900° C. in nitrogen: beryllium carbide reacts with nitrogen at 1250° C., or with ammonia at 950°-1000° C. -

3Be2C+2N2 = 2Be3N2+3C.

The direct action of cyanogen on metallic beryllium at 800° C. also produces the nitride.

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