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Computational investigations of the electronic structure of molecular actinide compounds

Jonasson, L.; (2009) Computational investigations of the electronic structure of molecular actinide compounds. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

In this PhD thesis the electronic structure of a range of actinide compounds has been investigated using density functional theory. The reason for using DFT instead of other methods is mainly due to the size of the compounds which makes multireference calculations prohibitively expensive, but also to make comparisons with previously calculated DFT results. The first chapter presents the basic concepts of electronic structure theory and the chemical properties of the actinides and lanthanides. The theoretical foundation of DFT and the consequences of relativity are also introduced. In the second chapter the bonding in mixed MUCl6, MUCl8 2-, NpReCl8 2- and PuOsC NpReCl8 2- (M = Mo, W) systems is investigated and compared with previous work on the M2Cl6, M2C NpReCl8 2- U2Cl6 and U2C NpReCl8 2- systems. The study shows that the total bonding energy in the mixed compounds is the average of the two “pure” compounds. The third chapter deals with systems of plenary or lacunary Keggin phosphomolybdate coordination to actinide (Th), lanthanide (Ce, La, Lu) and transition metal (Hf, Zr) cations: [PMo12O40]3-, [PMo11O39]2 14-, [PMo12O40]2 6- and [PMo11O39][PMo12O40]10-. These large, highly anionic systems proved to be very challenging computationally. The main result of the study confirms that the bonding is ionic and that there are few differences in the behaviour of the transition metals. In the fourth chapter the electronic spectrum of NpO2 2+, NpO2Cl4 2- and NpO2(OH)4 2- is calculated using time dependent DFT. TDDFT has proved adequate for the uranium analogues of these systems and this extends previous work on f0 systems to f1 systems. The results show that TDDFT is in poor agreement with both experimental results and multireference calculations for these compounds. In chapter five, group 15 and 16 uranyl analogues have been investigated. For the UE2 (E = O, S, Se, Te) analogues the geometry bends for all chalcogens heavier than O. The UE2 2+ analogues remain linear all the way down group 16. In U(NCH3)2 2+ the formation of a {pi} “back bone” along the axis of the molecule was noted. The {sigma}-bonding valence MOs stabilize while the {pi} MOs are destabilized down group 15 and 16. Chapter six is a summary of the results in this thesis and an outlook on potential future work.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Computational investigations of the electronic structure of molecular actinide compounds
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Chemistry

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