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Zintl Compounds

  1. Oliver Janka,
  2. Susan M. Kauzlarich

Published Online: 23 SEP 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781119951438.eibc0244.pub2

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Janka, O. and Kauzlarich, S. M. 2013. Zintl Compounds. Encyclopedia of Inorganic and Bioinorganic Chemistry. 1–14.

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis, CA, USA

  1. Update based on the original article by Susan M. Kauzlarich, Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 SEP 2013


The term “Zintl phase” refers to a class of compounds and is used to recognize contributions to the field of solid-state inorganic chemistry by Eduard Zintl. Zintl phases were initially 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 1and 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 initial definition has been expanded from the initial binary phases to include ternary phases and further 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, are also described.


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