Writing a chemistry paper I need to form an adjective for the following concept: TiO2 rich in oxygen vacancies.

Is this the proper formation for an adjective intended to mean that?:

Oxygen-vacancy-rich TiO2

Are the two hyphens correct? Or do I only need the first one?

thank you

  • 1
    Your hyphenation is correct, but to a non-chemist, "vacancy-rich" seems something of an oxymoron. We normally use the word "rich" to describe the abundant presence of something. Nitrogen-rich, for example, makes much better intuitive sense than vacancy-rich. – TRomano Jun 11 '15 at 15:33
  • 1
    Yes, two hyphens are correct. One can be replaced with an en dash depending on the style guide you adhere to. No, only one hyphen and a space would be wrong. But the real question here is: why do you need to form an adjective? Here's ten roubles saying that you do not, as a matter of fact, need to form an adjective. (And here's another ten saying that chemists have long come up with a dedicated adjective for "vacancy-rich", and possibly even with a dedicated one for "oxygen-vacancy-rich".) – RegDwigнt Jun 11 '15 at 15:34
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    The adjectival oxygen-vacant TiO2 seems to be used. You could say "highly oxygen-vacant TiO2". – TRomano Jun 11 '15 at 15:38
  • Thank you all of you. I might use then "highly oxygen-vacant TiO2", in order not to get an oxymoron and make it clearer to the reader. – u32004 Jun 11 '15 at 15:50
  • 1
    The presence of vacancies at sites normally occupied by a particular element in a material is a rather specific fact about it. Sticking to a form which mentions the vacancies explicitly is probably a good idea. Two alternatives: rich in oxygen vacancies, a high density of oxygen vacancies. – Chris H Jun 14 '15 at 12:43

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