Research into actinides is of high interest because of their potential applications as an energy source and for the environmental implications therein. Global concern has arisen since the development of the actinide concept in the 1940s led to the industrial scale use of the commercial nuclear energy cycle and nuclear weapons production. Large quantities of waste have been generated from these processes inspiring efforts to address fundamental questions in actinide science. In this regard, the objective of this work is to use theory to provide insight and predictions into actinide chemistry, where experimental work is extremely challenging because of the intrinsic difficulties of the experiments themselves and the safety issues associated with this type of chemistry. This thesis is a collection of theoretical studies of actinide chemistry falling into three categories: quantum chemical and matrix isolation studies of small molecules, the electronic structure of organoactinide systems, and uranyl peroxide nanoclusters and other solid state actinide compounds. The work herein not only spans a wide range of systems size but also investigates a range of chemical problems. Various quantum chemical approaches have been employed. Wave function-based methods have been used to study the electronic structure of actinide containing molecules of small to middle-size. Among these methods, the complete active space self consistent field (CASSCF) approach with corrections from second-order perturbation theory (CASPT2), the generalized active space SCF (GASSCF) approach, and Møller-Plesset second-order perturbation theory (MP2) have been employed. Likewise, density functional theory (DFT) has been used along with analysis tools like bond energy decomposition, bond orders, and Bader's Atoms in Molecules. From these quantum chemical results, comparison with experimentally obtained structures and spectra are made.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2013. Major: Chemistry. Advisor: Laura Gagliardi. 1 computer file (PDF); xix, 196 pages, appendix A.
Quantum chemical studies of actinides and lanthanides: from small molecules to nanoclusters.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.