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There are lithium and nitrogen layers composed of lithium and nitrogen atoms In the crystal of lithium nitride

Introduction to lithium nitride
Lithium nitride is a metallic nitrogen compound with the molecular formula Li3N. It is a purple or red crystalline solid with a greenish sheen in reflected light and a ruby color in transmitted light. Exposure to the air over a long period of time will eventually result in lithium carbonate.
At room temperature, lithium metal exposed to air can partially form lithium nitride, lithium in the nitrogen flow to form lithium nitride, 10 -- 15 times faster than in the air, then all lithium into lithium nitride. In contrast, other alkali metals are difficult to form nitrides. Sodium nitrite, for example, can only be prepared by depositing atomic beams on sapphire at low temperatures and decompose with slight heat. Lithium nitride is easily hydrolyzed to produce lithium hydroxide and ammonia gas, especially fine powder lithium nitride, heated in the air can occur violent combustion. Therefore, lithium nitride must be handled in an inert atmosphere (e.g., nitrogen).
Reducing agents in organic reactions and nitrogen-basic metal nitrides in inorganic reactions are extremely limited, and only lithium nitride in binary compounds is stable and easily prepared (sodium nitrite and potassium nitride can be prepared only under relatively extreme conditions). Lithium nitride is prepared by direct reaction of elemental nitrogen and lithium, usually by burning lithium in pure nitrogen. This method is the most commonly used method for preparing lithium nitride, both in the laboratory and in the industry. Alternatively, nitrogen can be injected into liquid sodium dissolved in lithium metal, which produces a more pure lithium nitride.

The structure of lithium nitride
In the crystal of lithium nitride, there are lithium and nitrogen layers composed of lithium and nitrogen atoms. The lithium atoms are arranged like carbon atoms in a graphite crystal, with nitrogen atoms at the center of a hexagon of lithium atoms. There is a lithium layer between the lithium and nitrogen layers. Because the ratio of lithium to nitrogen in the lithium and nitrogen layers is 2:1, that is, Li2N, which does not conform to the stoichiometric formula Li3N, there is a lithium layer between every two lithium and nitrogen layers.
In the crystal cells of lithium nitride, the distance between Li-N is 213pm, which is close to the sum of the ionic radii of lithium-ion and nitrogen negative ions. The distance between each lithium and nitrogen layer and the adjacent lithium layer is 194pm, which indicates that lithium nitride is an ionic compound.
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