Tantalum pentoxide

Tantalum Pentoxide

Tantalum pentoxide

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Tantalum pentoxide is Ta<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub>, also known as tantalum(V) oxide. Both orthorhombic and hexagonal phases are known. Ta<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub> is a high refractive index, low absorption material useful for coatings in the near-UV to IR spectra regions; it decomposes only at temperatures >1470 °C.


The metal oxide discovered by Anders Gustaf Ekeberg was obtained from minerals taken from pegmatite (an igneous rock associated with tantalite or columbite) at Ytterby, Sweden, and Kimoto, Finland. The microlite-pyrochlore mineral series is also a source of tantalum oxide. Microlite contains approximately 70% of tantalum oxide, and pyrochlore contains approximately 10%.


There are several methods available for the synthesis of tantalum oxide. One method involves isolating tantalum pentoxide by crushing a concentrate of the mineral columbite-tantalite and fusing the powdered mineral with sodium hydroxide to give a slurry of mixed insoluble niobic and tantalic acids. The mixed acids are dissolved by passing anhydrous hydrofluoric acid into the slurry and adding the stoichiometric quantity of potassium fluoride to yield a salt. The salts can be separated by a liquid-liquid extraction process, using various ketones as the liquids.

(FeMn)(NbTa)<sub>2</sub>O<sub>6</sub> + 6NaOH → Ta<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub>&middot;7H<sub>2</sub>O......

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