Title: The Unique High-pressure Behavior of Curium Probed Further Using Alloys
Citation: JOURNAL OF ALLOYS AND COMPOUNDS vol. 444-445 p. 138-141
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC40069
ISSN: 0925-8388
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC40069
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The changing role of the 5f electrons across the actinide series has been of prime interest for many years. The remarkable behavior of americium¿s 5f electrons under pressure was determined experimentally a few years ago and it precipitated a strong interest in the heavy element community. Theoretical treatments of americium¿s behavior under pressure followed and continue today. Experimental and theoretical findings regarding curium¿s behavior under pressure have shown that the pressure behavior of curium was not a mirror image of that for americium. Rather, one of the five crystallographic phases observed with curium (versus four for americium) was a unique monoclinic structure whose existence is due to a spin stabilization effect by curium¿s 5f7 electronic configuration and its half-filled 5f-shell. We review briefly the behavior of pure curium under pressure but focus on the pressure behaviors of three curium alloys with the intent of comparing them with pure curium. An important experimental finding confirmed by theoretical computations, is that dilution of curium with its near neighbors is sufficient to prevent the formation of the unique C2/c phase that appears in pure Cm metal under pressure. As this unique C2/c phase is very sensitive to having a 5f7 configuration to maximize the magnetic spin polarization, dilution of this state with adjacent actinide neighbors reduces its stability.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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