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Title: Time-dependent water dynamics in hydrated uranyl fluoride

In this study, uranyl fluoride is a three-layer, hexagonal structure with significant stacking disorder in the c-direction. It supports a range of unsolved ‘thermodynamic’ hydrates with 0–2.5 water molecules per uranium atom, and perhaps more. However, the relationship between water, hydrate crystal structures, and thermodynamic results, collectively representing the chemical pathway through these hydrate structures, has not been sufficiently elucidated. We used high-resolution quasielastic neutron scattering to study the dynamics of water in partially hydrated uranyl fluoride powder over the course of 4 weeks under closed conditions. The spectra are composed of two quasielastic components: one is associated with translational diffusive motion of water that is approximately five to six times slower than bulk water, and the other is a slow (on the order of 2–300 ps), spatially bounded water motion. The translational component represents water diffusing between the weakly bonded layers in the crystal, while the bounded component may represent water trapped in subnanometre ‘pockets’ formed by the space between uranium-centred polymerisation units. Complementary neutron diffraction measurements do not show any significant structural changes, suggesting that a chemical conversion of the material does not occur in the thermodynamically isolated system on this timescale.
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Molecular Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0026-8976
Taylor & Francis
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); USDOE Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; quasielastic neutron scattering; uranium; actinide chemistry; water dynamics; neutron diffraction
OSTI Identifier: