What is the crystal structure of molybdenum nitride?

May 29,2024

MolybdenuM nitride belongs to the family of transition metal nitrides and exhibits properties that make it useful in applications such as a catalyst and a coating material.

Mo2N typically exists in multiple crystalline forms, including hexagonal (hcp) and cubic (fcc) structures.  Molybdenum nitrides also crystallize in a structure similar to γ-Mo2N with an excess of nitrogen in the lattice and with the formula Mo3N2. The β-Mo2N1 ± x phase is stable at low temperature. Its structure is a face centered tetragonal structure of metal atoms with an ordered array of nitrogen atoms.


Molybdenum nitride films are synthesized by various processes from reactive sputtering to thermal decomposition of precursors. It is worth noting that in most X-ray diffraction (XRD) studies, it is not easy to differentiate the various phases of molybdenum nitrides. The diffraction patterns show intense reflections close to one another at low Bragg angles. Moreover, the small size of the crystallites results in peaks broadening and owing to the overlapping of peaks arising from molybdenum oxides and molybdenum nitrides, the precise structure of molybdenum nitrides cannot be unambiguously determined. 

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