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Nano Research

Article Title

Thorium/uranium mixed oxide nanocrystals: Synthesis, structural characterization and magnetic properties

Authors

Damien Hudry, European Commission: Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P. O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
Jean-Christophe Griveau, European Commission: Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P. O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
Christos Apostolidis, European Commission: Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P. O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
Olaf Walter, European Commission: Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P. O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Catalysis Research and Technology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Eric Colineau, European Commission: Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P. O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
Gert Rasmussen, European Commission: Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, P. O. Box 2340, 76125 Karlsruhe, Germany
Di Wang, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Nanotechnology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Venkata Sai Kiran Chakravadhaluna, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Nanotechnology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany Helmholtz Institute Ulm for Electrochemical Energy Storage, Albert-Einstein-Allee 11, 89069 Ulm, Germany
Eglantine Courtois, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Nanotechnology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Christian Kübel, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Nanotechnology, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe Nano Micro Facility, Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany
Daniel Meyer, Institut de Chimie Séparative de Marcoule, UMR 5257, BP 17171, 30207 Bagnols sur Cèze Cedex, France

Keywords

thorium, uranium, mixed oxide, non-aqueous synthesis, nanoparticle, nanocrystal, magnetism

Abstract

ABSTRACT One of the primary aims of the actinide community within nanoscience is to develop a good understanding similar to what is currently the case for stable elements. As a consequence, efficient, reliable and versatile synthesis techniques dedicated to the formation of new actinide-based nano-objects (e.g. nanocrystals) are necessary. Hence, a “library” dedicated to the preparation of various actinide- based nanoscale building blocks is currently being developed. Nanoscale building blocks with tunable sizes, shapes and compositions are of prime importance. So far, the non-aqueous synthesis method in highly coordinating organic media is the only approach which has demonstrated the capability to provide size and shape control of actinide-based nanocrystals (both for thorium and uranium, and recently extended to neptunium and plutonium). In this paper, we demonstrate that the non-aqueous approach is also well adapted to control the chemical composition of the nanocrystals obtained when mixing two different actinides. Indeed, the controlled hot co-injection of thorium acetylacetonate and uranyl acetate (together with additional capping agents) into benzyl ether can be used to synthesize thorium/uranium mixed oxide nanocrystals covering the full com¬positional spectrum. Additionally, we found that both size and shape are modified as a function of the thorium:uranium ratio. Finally, the magnetic properties of the different thorium/uranium mixed oxide nanocrystals were investigated. Contrary to several reports, we did not observe any ferromagnetic behavior. As a consequence, ferromagnetism cannot be described as a universal feature of nanocrystals of non-magnetic oxides as recently claimed in the literature.

Graphical Abstract

Publisher

Tsinghua University Press

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