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Chem Commun (Camb). 2011 Oct 21;47(39):10874-85. doi: 10.1039/c1cc14023j. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

Recent progress in actinide borate chemistry.

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Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 156 Fitzpatrick Hall, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556, USA.


The use of molten boric acid as a reactive flux for synthesizing actinide borates has been developed in the past two years providing access to a remarkable array of exotic materials with both unusual structures and unprecedented properties. [ThB(5)O(6)(OH)(6)][BO(OH)(2)]ยท2.5H(2)O possesses a cationic supertetrahedral structure and displays remarkable anion exchange properties with high selectivity for TcO(4)(-). Uranyl borates form noncentrosymmetric structures with extraordinarily rich topological relationships. Neptunium borates are often mixed-valent and yield rare examples of compounds with one metal in three different oxidation states. Plutonium borates display new coordination chemistry for trivalent actinides. Finally, americium borates show a dramatic departure from plutonium borates, and there are scant examples of families of actinides compounds that extend past plutonium to examine the bonding of later actinides. There are several grand challenges that this work addresses. The foremost of these challenges is the development of structure-property relationships in transuranium materials. A deep understanding of the materials chemistry of actinides will likely lead to the development of advanced waste forms for radionuclides present in nuclear waste that prevent their transport in the environment. This work may have also uncovered the solubility-limiting phases of actinides in some repositories, and allows for measurements on the stability of these materials.


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