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iron 2 nitride (Fe3N2), also known as ferrous nitride or diferro-nitride, is an oxide of iron that combines with nitrogen to form a metallic compound. It is a weakly magnetic material.

This element is found in minerals such as magnetite, hematite, and siderite. It is a soft, malleable element that can be transformed into steel by adding carbon.

When dissolved in a solution of nitric acid, it reacts slowly. It is soluble in dilute hydrochloric and sulphuric acids.

Nitric acid attacks iron at a temperature of 200deg C., but only when the concentration of the solution is very low. It is also attacked by the gaseous nitrate of nitrogen at a temperature of 350deg C. The reaction is very vigorous when the ammonia concentration is high.

Nitrogen is a weakly soluble substance in iron, but it is very much absorbed by steel when heated under a strong pressure of the gas. The absorbtion is accompanied by a very marked reduction of the metal. The metal, after being reduced, is brittle and shows a great decrease in hardness and tenacity.

Upon heating, the nitride peels off in thin flakes if the metal is thick and if the surface of the iron has not been oiled. The most favourable temperature is 650deg to 700deg C. It is also a suitable metal for preparing Fe16N2 by nitriding a-Fe foil under an ammonia atmosphere at 600deg C.

Iron nitride has a 2A ground state electronic structure, which is distinct for an iron nitride. Its unusual d5-configuration is stabilized by significant delocalization of the unpaired electron onto the axial boron and nitrogen ligands.

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