MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What compound has the greatest variety of atoms?

Date: Wed Mar 8 09:31:38 2000
Posted By: Narayan Variankaval, Grad student, Polymers/Textile and Fiber Engineering, Georgia Tech
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 951936976.Ch


Here is what I found concerning compounds containing the greatest number of elements.

19 different types of atoms:
Sodium, calcium, strontium, manganese, magnesium, cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, yttrium, thorium, tellurium, niobium, tantalum, titanium, zirconium, iron oxide, hydroxide, fluoride

This is a mineral ore called pyrochlore (here is a picture of a pyrochlore). It is found to occur naturally in Quebec Canada. It is a compound and its x-ray diffraction data is also available (which is how I managed to get a friend to trace it). Its molecular formula is:

(Na5.04Ca9.56 Sr0.22Mn 0.02 Mg0.40Ce0.70La0.13Nd0.33 Y0.02Th0.34Te0.01) (Nb12.98 Ta0.04Ti1.99Zr0.50Fe0.41) O50.67(OH)1.20F3.44
= H1.2Ca9.56Ce0.7 F3.44Fe0.41La0.13Mg0.4 Mn0.02Na5.04Nb12.98Nd0.33 O51.87Sr0.22Ta0.04Te0.01Th0.34 Ti1.99Y0.02Zr0.5

Reference: Canadian Mineralogist CAMIA 9 (1968) 383-402

18 atom types:

(Ca0.6La0.2 ) (Ce0.5La0.12 Nd0.15Dy0.1Pr0.05Sm0.02) (Mg0.4Fe0.15Cr0.12Ti0.12 V0.09Al0.12 ) Al Mn (SiO4) (Si2O 7) (OH) (F0.63O.37)

This is a natural manganese silicate . It is called Aluminium manganese silicate oxide hydroxide though it has other elements present.
Reference: Kristallografiya

I am not listing others since the question was which compound has the largest variety of atoms. As of now (I may have to regret it later) inorganic metal oxides take the cake.

350063, Georgia Tech. Station

(3) - this one contains structures of superconductor materials.

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