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Title: Probing the electronic structures of low oxidation-state uranium fluoride molecules UFx- (x=2-4)

We report the experimental observation of gaseous UFx- (x = 2-4) anions, which are investigated using photoelectron spectroscopy and relativistic quantum chemistry. Vibrationally resolved photoelectron spectra are obtained for all three species and the electron affinities of UFx (x = 2-4) are measured to be 1.16(3), 1.09(3), and 1.58(3) eV, respectively. Significant multi-electron transitions are observed in the photoelectron spectra of U(5f(3)7s(2)) F-2(-), as a result of strong electron correlation effects of the two 7s electrons. The U-F symmetric stretching vibrational modes are resolved for the ground states of all UFx (x = 2-4) neutrals. Theoretical calculations are performed to qualitatively understand the photoelectron spectra. The entire UFx- and UFx (x = 1-6) series are considered theoretically to examine the trends of U-F bonding and the electron affinities as a function of fluorine coordination. The increased U-F bond lengths and decreased bond orders from UF2- to UF4- indicate that the U-F bonding becomes weaker as the oxidation state of U increases from I to III. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47951; KP1704020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics, 139(24):Article No. 244303
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Uranium; fluoride; photoelectron spectroscopy; quantum chemistry; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory