Single-Hydroxide Bridged Dimers of U and Np Actinyls: A Density Functional Study on Their Existence and Structure in Aqueous Solution

Ion Chiorescu, Sven Krüger, Notker Rösch

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Abstract

With quantum chemical calculations at the density functional theory level, we examined the structure and the stability of diactinyl monohydroxo complexes [(AnO2)2(OH)]3+/+ in aqueous solution for An = U(VI), Np(VI), and Np(V). In particular, this study contributes to understanding the hydrolysis of Np(VI) and Np(V), which is less well characterized than for U(VI). [(UO2)2(OH)]3+ is a known hydrolysis complex of U(VI) at low pH. Although not yet found in experiments, [(NpO2)2(OH)]3+ is suggested to exist due to the similarity between Np(VI) and U(VI) complexes, while [(NpO2)2(OH)]+ is a hypothetical species thus far. Our calculations suggest that the An(VI) complexes favor the parallel orientation of actinyls, whereas for the Np(V) complex a perpendicular arrangement is stabilized by hydrogen bonds between aqua ligands and the actinyl oxygen atoms. The Np(VI) complex [(NpO2)2(OH)]3+ features a structure and stability similar to its U(VI) analogue. From calculated formation constants for An(VI) diactinyl monohydroxo complexes, we find qualitative agreement with the experiment for U(VI). Both An(VI) complexes are only slightly less stable than the separate mononuclear constituents, the actinyl aqua and the monohydroxo complex. For the Np(V) species [(NpO2)2(OH)]+, we calculated a considerably lower complexation constant than for its An(VI) analogues, but it is more stable against decay into its constituents. Thus, this complex may exist at about the pH where Np(V) hydrolysis starts at not too low Np(V) concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)830-840
Number of pages11
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Jan 2023

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