Extreme multi-valence states in mixed actinide oxides

E. Epifano, M. Naji, D. Manara*, A. C. Scheinost, C. Hennig, J. Lechelle, R. J.M. Konings, J. Rothe, P. M. Martin, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

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To assure the safety of oxide-fuel based nuclear reactors, the knowledge of the atomic-scale properties of U1−yMyO2±x materials is essential. These compounds show complex chemical properties, originating from the fact that actinides and rare earths may occur with different oxidation states. In these mostly ionic materials, aliovalent cationic configurations can induce changes in the oxygen stoichiometry, with dramatic effects on the properties of the fuel. First studies on U1−yAmyO2±x indicated that these materials exhibit particularly complex electronic and local-structure configurations. Here we present an in-depth study of these compounds, over a wide compositional domain, by combining XRD, XAS and Raman spectroscopy. We provide evidences of the co-existence of four different cations (U4+, U5+, Am3+, Am4+) in U1−yMyO2±x compounds, which nevertheless maintain the fluorite structure. Indeed, we show that the cationic sublattice is basically unaffected by the extreme multi-valence states, whereas complex defects are present in the oxygen sublattice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number59
Number of pages11
JournalCommunications Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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