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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/S95169/01
Title: A structural, spectroscopic and theoretical approach to understanding the electronic structure of actinyl complexes.
Principal Investigator: Kaltsoyannis, Professor N
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Atomic Energy Commission CEA Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Research Centre Rossendorf e.V.
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 27 September 2004 Ends: 26 September 2007 Value (£): 87,973
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Structure Co-ordination Chemistry
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Chemicals Environment
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The actinide elements are the last complete family in the periodic table. They are all radioactive and bar the first three (thorium, protactinium and uranium) are all man made. The use of uranium and plutonium in weapons and nuclear power generation lends these two elements a special chemical and physical significance. More specifically, the critical choices facing us over the correct way to dispose of uranium and plutonium in the medium to long term means that we must understand as much as possible about the chemistry of these elements, and other actinides produced during nuclear reactions, including neptunium and americium.The research described in this proposal seeks that understanding for the most important class of molecular actinide compounds, those containing the actinyl unit - a linear dioxygen species. We propose a collaborative experimental (University of Manchester) and computational (University College London) investigation of the bonding within these systems. The experimental research will entail the synthesis of new actinyl compounds of uranium, neptunium, plutonium and possibly americium, and their study by a comprehensive range of spectroscopic and structural techniques. The high radioactivity of the compounds to be synthesised presents very significant experimental challenges, which can only be met by highly trained researchers in dedicated facilities. The state-of-the-art purpose built laboratories at The University of Manchester (unique in UK academia in their capacity to handle the highly radioactive neptunium and plutonium isotopes) will be used to conduct the majority of the experimental research. For the work that cannot be handled at Manchester (e.g. americyl synthesis, higher activity plutonium experiments and X-ray absorption spectroscopic studies) we have forged international collaborations with groups in France and in the United States.The experimental research will be supported throughout by a programme of computational studies based at University College London. The computational studies will employ modern quantum chemical techniques to probe the bonding in the new compounds to be prepared by the synthetic team. This combined approach will yield a thorough description of our target systems, more complete than either working in isolation. The new understanding generated by our research will be invaluable at a fundamental level, and will also have significant implications for the development of technologies for the management of the UK's nuclear waste legacy.
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