Single crystal X-ray structure of the artists’ pigment zinc yellow

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  • Kim Pilkjær Simonsen
  • Marie Bitsch Christiansen
  • Morten Gotthold Vinum
  • Jana Sanyova
  • Bendix, Jesper

The artists’ pigment zinc yellow is in general described as a complex potassium zinc chromate with the empirical formula 4ZnCrO4·K2O·3H2O. Even though the pigment has been in use since the second half of the 19th century also in large-scale industrial applications, the exact structure had hitherto been unknown. In this work, zinc yellow was synthesised by precipitation from an aqueous solution of zinc nitrate and potassium chromate under both neutral and basic conditions, and the products were compared with the pigment used in industrial paints. Analyses by Raman microscopy (MRS), scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), and powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD), showed that the synthesised products and the industrial pigment were identical. Single-crystal X-ray crystallography determined the structure of zinc yellow as KZn2(CrO4)2(H2O)(OH) or as KZn2(CrO4)2(H3O2) emphasizing the μ-H3O2 moiety. Notably, the zinc yellow is isostructural to the recently structurally characterized cadmium analog and both belong to the natrochalcite structure type.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Molecular Structure: THEOCHEM
Pages (from-to)322-327
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Artists’ pigment, FTIR, HO, PXRD, X-ray structure, Zinc yellow

ID: 178211879