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Title: Chemistry of the heaviest elements--one atom at a time

In keeping with the goal of the Viewpoint series of the Journal of Chemical Education, this article gives a 75-year perspective of the chemistry of the heaviest elements, including a 50-year retrospective view of past developments, a summary of current research achievements and applications, and some predictions about exciting, new developments that might be envisioned within the next 25 years. A historical perspective of the importance of chemical separations in the discoveries of the transuranium elements from neptunium (Z=93) through mendelevium (Z=101) is given. The development of techniques for studying the chemical properties of mendelevium and still heavier elements on the basis of measuring the radioactive decay of a single atom (''atom-at-a-time'' chemistry) and combining the results of many separate experiments is reviewed. The influence of relativistic effects (expected to increase as Z{sup 2}) on chemical properties is discussed. The results from recent atom-at-a-time studies of the chemistry of the heaviest elements through seaborgium (Z=106) are summarized and show that their properties cannot be readily predicted based on simple extrapolation from the properties of their lighter homologues in the periodic table. The prospects for extending chemical studies to still heavier elements than seaborgium are considered and appear promising.
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
860292
Report Number(s):
LBNL--46364
R&D Project: 462201; TRN: US0504888
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley NationalLaboratory, Berkeley, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Director, Office of Science. Office of High Energy andNuclear Physics. Division of Nuclear Physics
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; ATOMS; CHEMICAL PROPERTIES; CHEMISTRY; DECAY; EDUCATION; EXTRAPOLATION; MENDELEVIUM; NEPTUNIUM; SEABORGIUM; TRANSURANIUM ELEMENTS