The ongoing development of nonlinear optical (NLO) crystals such as coherent mid-IR sources focuses on various classes of materials such as ternary and quaternary metal chalcophosphates. In case of thiophosphates, the connection between PS4-tetrahedral building blocks and metals gives rise to a broad structural variety where approximately one third of all known ternary (A/P/S) and quaternary (A/M/P/S) (A = alkali metal, M = metal) structures are acentric and potential nonlinear optical materials. The molten alkali metal polychalcophosphate fluxes are a well-established method for the synthesis of new ternary and quaternary thiophosphate and selenophosphate compounds. It has been a wide field of study and investigation through the last two decades. Here, the flux method is used for the synthesis of new quaternary phases containing Rb, Ag, P and S. Four new alkali metal thiophosphates, Rb4P2S10, RbAg5(PS4), Rb2AgPS4 and Rb3Ag9(PS4)4, have been synthesized successfully from high purity elements and binary starting materials. The new compounds were characterized by single crystal and powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), ultraviolet-visible (UV-VIS), Raman spectroscopy, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). These compounds show interesting structural variety and physical properties. The crystal structures feature 3D anionic framework built up of PS4 tetrahedral units and charge balanced by Ag and alkali metal cations. All prepared compounds are semiconductors with band gap between 2.3 eV to 2.6 eV and most of them are thermally stable up to 600ºC.
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|KAUST Research Repository