Title: Reaction of Neptunium with Molecular and Atomic Oxygen: Formation and Stability of Surface Oxides
Citation: JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS vol. 389 p. 470-478
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC52480
ISSN: 0022-3115
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC52480
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2009.03.002
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The surface reactions of thin films of Np metal with molecular and atomic oxygen were investigated by Xray and Ultra-Violet Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS and UPS, respectively). Goal of this work was to study the entire range of oxides, starting with the very early reaction stages, in presence of metal, up to the highest possible oxides, reached at saturation under highly reactive, oxidative conditions. Emphasis was given to the surface layers, whose properties often differ from the bulk, and which are directly involved in corrosion processes of solids. Molecular O2 reacts readily with the metallic neptunium surface to form the sesquioxide and dioxide. The sesquioxide is observed as thin ¿bulk¿ species of up to nine monolayers thickness. A higher oxide, identified as Np2O5, is formed when the NpO2 surface is exposed to atomic oxygen. It is stable under UHV conditions up to a temperature of about 200 C. The high oxide, Np2O5, is still capable of chemisorbing further oxygen. This is shown in UPS spectra by the additional O-2p line at 5¿6 eV BE, superimposing onto the valence band (VB). The formation of both a lower (Np2O3) and higher oxide (Np2O5) besides the dioxide is discussed in the framework of ongoing 5f localization throughout the actinide series.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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