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Title: Final Technical Report

Abstract

During the past decades, considerable theoretical efforts have been devoted to studying the electronic and geometric structures and related properties of surfaces. Such efforts are particularly important for systems like the actinides for which experimental work is relatively difficult to perform due to material problems and toxicity. The actinides are characterized by a gradual filling of the 5f-electron shell with the degree of localization increasing with the atomic number Z along the last series of the periodic table. The open shell of the 5f electrons determines the atomic, molecular, and solid state properties of the actinide elements and their compounds and understanding the quantum mechanics of the 5f electrons is the defining issue in the chemistry and physics of actinide elements. These elements are also characterized by the increasing prominence of relativistic effects and their studies can, in fact, help us understand the role of relativity throughout the periodic table. However, the electronic and geometric structures of the actinides, specifically the trans-uranium actinides and the roles of the 5f electrons in chemical bonding are still not well understood. This is crucial not only for our understanding of the actinides but also for the fact that the actinides constitute 'the missingmore » link' between the d transition elements and the lanthanides. The 5f orbitals have properties intermediate between those of localized 4f and delocalized 3d orbitals. Thus, a proper understanding of the actinides will help us understand the behavior of the lanthanides and transition metals as well. In fact, there is an urgent need for continued extensive and detailed theoretical research in this area to provide significant and deep understandings of the electronic and geometric structures of the actinides. In this work, we have performed electronic structure studies for plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), and curium (Cm) surfaces, and molecular adsorptions on Pu and Am surfaces. In particular, the region at the boundary of Pu and Am, is widely believed to be the crossover region between d-like itinerant and f-like localized behavior The eventual goal is a complete understanding of the surface chemistry and physics processes of all actinide surfaces, defining the chemistry and physics of such heavy elements. Among the actinides, plutonium, with five 5f electrons in the solid state, is arguably the most complex, fascinating, and enigmatic element known to mankind and has attracted extraordinary scientific and technological interests because of its unique properties, generating a significant body of research in diverse areas, including superconductivity. Pu has, at least, six stable allotropes between room temperature and melting at atmospheric pressure, indicating that the valence electrons can hybridize into a number of complex bonding arrangements. Central and critical questions relate to the electronic structure, localization of the 5f electrons and the magnetism of Pu. For the light-actinides, from Th to Pu, the 5f electrons are believed to be delocalized, hybridizing with the 6d and 7s electrons. For the heavier actinides, Am and beyond, the 5f electrons are localized with the 5f orbitals progressively lower in energy relative to the 6d configuration. Hence, Pu is in a position where the 5f electronic behavior changes from itinerant to localized. As far as magnetism is concerned, a majority of the theoretical calculations continues to claim the existence of magnetism while almost all the experimental results do not find any support for such claims. The second element of interest to us, namely americium, occupies a central position in the actinide series with respect to the involvement of 5f electrons in metallic bonding. It is widely believed that the 5f electrons in Am are localized and that Am undergoes a series of crystallographic phase changes with pressure. Fully-relativistic all electron surface studies of the different phases of Am, initially for the dhcp and the fcc surfaces, can and have provided us with valuable information about chemical bonding in Am and the transitions from f-electron delocalization to f-electron localization in trans-uranium compounds. In particular, a comparative study of the electronic structures of the Pu and Am surfaces using the techniques of all-electron modern density functional theory and beyond can provide significant information about the role of 5f electrons in bond formation as also the localization of the 5f electrons, matters of considerable controversies. The change from metallic 5f bonding into local-moment nonbonding configurations that takes place between Pu and Am is rather unique in the periodic table and is at the very heart of our understanding of electronic structure. We believe that, considering the narrow bandwidth of surface states, any transition from itinerant to localized behavior first takes place at the actinide surfaces with possible reconstructions.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Texas, Arlington, TX (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1040790
Report Number(s):
1
TRN: US201211%%559
DOE Contract Number:  
FG02-03ER15409
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ACTINIDES; AMERICIUM; ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE; ATOMIC NUMBER; BONDING; CHEMISTRY; CONFIGURATION; CURIUM; ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE; ELECTRONS; FUNCTIONALS; MAGNETISM; MELTING; PHYSICS; PLUTONIUM; QUANTUM MECHANICS; RARE EARTHS; SUPERCONDUCTIVITY; TOXICITY; TRANSITION ELEMENTS; VALENCE

Citation Formats

Ray, Asok K. Final Technical Report. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.2172/1040790.
Ray, Asok K. Final Technical Report. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1040790
Ray, Asok K. Tue . "Final Technical Report". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1040790. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1040790.
@article{osti_1040790,
title = {Final Technical Report},
author = {Ray, Asok K},
abstractNote = {During the past decades, considerable theoretical efforts have been devoted to studying the electronic and geometric structures and related properties of surfaces. Such efforts are particularly important for systems like the actinides for which experimental work is relatively difficult to perform due to material problems and toxicity. The actinides are characterized by a gradual filling of the 5f-electron shell with the degree of localization increasing with the atomic number Z along the last series of the periodic table. The open shell of the 5f electrons determines the atomic, molecular, and solid state properties of the actinide elements and their compounds and understanding the quantum mechanics of the 5f electrons is the defining issue in the chemistry and physics of actinide elements. These elements are also characterized by the increasing prominence of relativistic effects and their studies can, in fact, help us understand the role of relativity throughout the periodic table. However, the electronic and geometric structures of the actinides, specifically the trans-uranium actinides and the roles of the 5f electrons in chemical bonding are still not well understood. This is crucial not only for our understanding of the actinides but also for the fact that the actinides constitute 'the missing link' between the d transition elements and the lanthanides. The 5f orbitals have properties intermediate between those of localized 4f and delocalized 3d orbitals. Thus, a proper understanding of the actinides will help us understand the behavior of the lanthanides and transition metals as well. In fact, there is an urgent need for continued extensive and detailed theoretical research in this area to provide significant and deep understandings of the electronic and geometric structures of the actinides. In this work, we have performed electronic structure studies for plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), and curium (Cm) surfaces, and molecular adsorptions on Pu and Am surfaces. In particular, the region at the boundary of Pu and Am, is widely believed to be the crossover region between d-like itinerant and f-like localized behavior The eventual goal is a complete understanding of the surface chemistry and physics processes of all actinide surfaces, defining the chemistry and physics of such heavy elements. Among the actinides, plutonium, with five 5f electrons in the solid state, is arguably the most complex, fascinating, and enigmatic element known to mankind and has attracted extraordinary scientific and technological interests because of its unique properties, generating a significant body of research in diverse areas, including superconductivity. Pu has, at least, six stable allotropes between room temperature and melting at atmospheric pressure, indicating that the valence electrons can hybridize into a number of complex bonding arrangements. Central and critical questions relate to the electronic structure, localization of the 5f electrons and the magnetism of Pu. For the light-actinides, from Th to Pu, the 5f electrons are believed to be delocalized, hybridizing with the 6d and 7s electrons. For the heavier actinides, Am and beyond, the 5f electrons are localized with the 5f orbitals progressively lower in energy relative to the 6d configuration. Hence, Pu is in a position where the 5f electronic behavior changes from itinerant to localized. As far as magnetism is concerned, a majority of the theoretical calculations continues to claim the existence of magnetism while almost all the experimental results do not find any support for such claims. The second element of interest to us, namely americium, occupies a central position in the actinide series with respect to the involvement of 5f electrons in metallic bonding. It is widely believed that the 5f electrons in Am are localized and that Am undergoes a series of crystallographic phase changes with pressure. Fully-relativistic all electron surface studies of the different phases of Am, initially for the dhcp and the fcc surfaces, can and have provided us with valuable information about chemical bonding in Am and the transitions from f-electron delocalization to f-electron localization in trans-uranium compounds. In particular, a comparative study of the electronic structures of the Pu and Am surfaces using the techniques of all-electron modern density functional theory and beyond can provide significant information about the role of 5f electrons in bond formation as also the localization of the 5f electrons, matters of considerable controversies. The change from metallic 5f bonding into local-moment nonbonding configurations that takes place between Pu and Am is rather unique in the periodic table and is at the very heart of our understanding of electronic structure. We believe that, considering the narrow bandwidth of surface states, any transition from itinerant to localized behavior first takes place at the actinide surfaces with possible reconstructions.},
doi = {10.2172/1040790},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1040790}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {5}
}