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Samarium subchloride, SmCl2

Samarium subchloride, SmCl2, is prepared by strongly heating samarium chloride in a current of pure, dry hydrogen or ammonia. It is a dark brown, crystalline solid of density 3.69 at 22°, insoluble in alcohol, pyridine, carbon disulphide, chloroform, or benzene. It dissolves readily in water, giving a dark reddish-brown solution. The colour slowly disappears, hydrogen being evolved and samarium hydroxide precipitated. The rapidity with which the colour disappears is greatly enhanced by shaking the solution in air: -

6SmCl2 + 6H2O = 4SmCl3 + 2Sm(OH)3 + 3H2; 12SmCl2 + 6H2O + 3O2 = 8SmCl3 + 4Sm(OH)3

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