# Is it possible create crystalline solvate of electrons?

Okay, I know that this reads ridiculous insane, but one can obtain solvated electrons by adding sodium metal to liquid ammonia solution.

The chemical reaction as written in my inorganic chemistry textbook is this:

$$\ce{Na + x NH3 -> Na+ + e(NH3)_x-}$$

A metallic sheen is observed, and it supposed to have an absorption band at about $1500\ \mathrm{nm}$ that expands into the range of visible light corresponding to the solvated electrons.

These electrons can be react with alkynes as very powerful reducing agents to to remove an H from a C joined by a triple bond, also liberating hydrogen gas as such. This occurs in the solution made by an alkali metal, not from pure extracted electrons

$$\ce{RC#CH + e- -> RC#C- + 1/2 H2}$$

So I was wondering if pure electrons can be solvated in ammonia, if anyone could think of any means by which these electrons could be extracted from the layer, still solvated by ammonia, and some reaction chemistry could be used to trap electrons in a carbon cage in the form of a solid? It is already known that potassium can be electrostatically trapped in valinomycin between the carbonyl groups of valinomycin.

While it may be different small molecules have been trapped in fullerenes. If electrons could be solidified via extracting them from the metallic layer in the proposed reaction, and interacting them with a "host molecule" in host-guest chemistry, do you think that these materials would be highly conductive. It seems to me that captured electrons would have a much different chemistry than simply metals like copper which shed electrons when a current runs through them. Perhaps if these electrons could be absorbed into carbon nanotubes, then the conductivity of nanotubes would increase significantly and these electron complexes may be significantly more powerful computationally than silicon chips.

Here is an experiment by the University of Nottingham scientists showing the solvation of electrons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYjQXjUUvwY

• Coulombic charge repulsion should make captured, solid electrons impossible. – BiggChemT Nov 9 '16 at 3:04
• Electrostatic repulsion is the main problem. For the same reason it would be impossible to obtain in bulk quantities some highly radioactive elements that undergo beta decay. – vapid Nov 9 '16 at 7:58
• It seems you're asking about solid electrides. These are very real and very interesting materials. – Nicolau Saker Neto Nov 9 '16 at 11:59
• Here's another very useful resource for electrides ch.imperial.ac.uk/rzepa/blog/?p=14272 from Prof Rzepa ... his blog is well worth studying. – user1945827 Apr 14 '17 at 7:47
• @NicolauSakerNeto I think that would make for an interesting answer. – Tyberius Oct 6 '17 at 16:54

The first problem which you will come through is Coulomb's law: $$\mathbf F=\frac{1}{4\pi \epsilon_{0}}\frac{Q_{1}Q_{2}}{|\mathbf r|^{2}}\frac{\mathbf r}{|\mathbf r|}$$ If you could somehow prepare even $0.01$ moles of electrons, they would be attracted to the ions which they were separated from very strongly even from kilometers away. The second problem is that electrons can't be simply trapped into any substance because of their wavelike nature and they would tend to "stay" in a localised or in a delocalised state in the molecoules. And here comes the two main things which are preventing such things to exist: