Title: Direct observation of pure pentavalent uranium in U2O5 thin films by high resolution photoemission spectroscopy
Citation: SCIENTIFIC REPORTS vol. 8 p. 8306
Publication Year: 2018
JRC N°: JRC111627
ISSN: 2045-2322
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC111627
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-26594-z
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Thin films of the elusive intermediate uranium oxide U2O5 have been prepared by exposing UO3 precursor multilayers to atomic hydrogen. Electron photoemission spectra measured about the uranium 4f core-level doublet contain sharp satellites separated by 7.9(1) eV from the 4f main lines, whilst satellites characteristics of the U(IV) and U(VI) oxidation states, expected respectively at 6.9(1) and 9.7(1) eV from the main 4f lines, are absent. This shows that uranium ions in the films are in a pure pentavalent oxidation state, in contrast to previous investigations of binary oxides claiming that U(V) occurs only as a metastable intermediate state coexisting with U(IV) and U(VI) species. The ratio between the 5f valence band and 4f core-level uranium photoemission intensities decreases by about 50% from UO2 to U2O5, which is consistent with the 5f 2 (UO2) and 5f 1 (U2O5) electronic configurations of the initial state. Our studies conclusively establish the stability of uranium pentoxide.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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