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Title: Strong electron correlation in UO{sub 2}{sup −}: A photoelectron spectroscopy and relativistic quantum chemistry study

The electronic structures of actinide systems are extremely complicated and pose considerable challenges both experimentally and theoretically because of significant electron correlation and relativistic effects. Here we report an investigation of the electronic structure and chemical bonding of uranium dioxides, UO{sub 2}{sup −} and UO{sub 2}, using photoelectron spectroscopy and relativistic quantum chemistry. The electron affinity of UO{sub 2} is measured to be 1.159(20) eV. Intense detachment bands are observed from the UO{sub 2}{sup −} low-lying (7sσ{sub g}){sup 2}(5fϕ{sub u}){sup 1} orbitals and the more deeply bound O2p-based molecular orbitals which are separated by a large energy gap from the U-based orbitals. Surprisingly, numerous weak photodetachment transitions are observed in the gap region due to extensive two-electron transitions, suggesting strong electron correlations among the (7sσ{sub g}){sup 2}(5fϕ{sub u}){sup 1} electrons in UO{sub 2}{sup −} and the (7sσ{sub g}){sup 1}(5fϕ{sub u}){sup 1} electrons in UO{sub 2}. These observations are interpreted using multi-reference ab initio calculations with inclusion of spin-orbit coupling. The strong electron correlations and spin-orbit couplings generate orders-of-magnitude more detachment transitions from UO{sub 2}{sup −} than expected on the basis of the Koopmans’ theorem. The current experimental data on UO{sub 2}{sup −} provide a long-sought opportunity to arbitrating various relativisticmore » quantum chemistry methods aimed at handling systems with strong electron correlations.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ; ; ;  [2]
  1. Department of Chemistry, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island 02912 (United States)
  2. Department of Chemistry and Key Laboratory of Organic Optoelectronics and Molecular Engineering of Ministry of Education, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China)
  3. (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22255010
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 9; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; AFFINITY; ELECTRON CORRELATION; ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE; ELECTRONS; L-S COUPLING; PHOTOELECTRON SPECTROSCOPY; RELATIVISTIC RANGE; URANIUM DIOXIDE