Standard Article

Zintl Compounds

  1. Susan M. Kauzlarich

Published Online: 15 MAR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia262

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Kauzlarich, S. M. 2006. Zintl Compounds. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAR 2006


The term Zintl phases was originally used to recognize contributions to the field of solid-state inorganic compounds by Eduard Zintl. They were defined as a subgroup of intermetallic phases where the anions or anionic network could be considered formally to be valence satisfied. These compounds are made up of electropositive elements from groups 1, 2 that, in a formal sense, donate their electrons to the electronegative elements from groups 13, 14, and 15, which use them to form the correct number of bonds such that each element has a filled shell. The historical definition has been expanded from binary to ternary phases and enlarged to include transition metals and rare earth elements in some cases. The compounds that make up this class are described along with the corresponding Zintl anions arising from solution chemistry. Recent results in the field such as the use of Zintl phases for novel materials is also described.


  • zintl phases;
  • zintl ions;
  • zintl compounds;
  • main group clusters;
  • intermetallics;
  • ternary transition metal phases;
  • valence-precise compounds;
  • main group compounds