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Probing the Nature of Chemical Bonding in Uranyl(VI) Complexes with Quantum Chemical Methods
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Physical Chemistry A, ISSN 1089-5639, E-ISSN 1520-5215, Vol. 116, no 50, 12373-12380 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To assess the nature of chemical bonds in uranyl(VI) complexes with Lewis base ligands, such as F-, Cl-, OH-, CO32-, and O-2(2-), we have used quantum chemical observables, such as the bond distances, the internal symmetric/asymmetric uranyl stretch frequencies, and the electron density with its topology analyzed using the quantum theory of atoms-in-molecules. This analysis confirms that complex formation induces a weakening of the uranium-axial oxygen bond, reflected by the longer U-O-yl bond distance and reduced uranyl-stretching frequencies. The strength of the ligand-induced effect increases in the order H2O < Cl- < F- < OH- < CO32- < O-2(2-). In-depth analysis reveals that the trend across the series does not always reflect an increasing covalent character of the uranyl-ligand bond. By using a point-charge model for the uranyl tetra-fluoride and tetra-chloride complexes, we show that a significant part of the uranyl bond destabilization arises from purely electrostatic interactions, the remaining part corresponding either to charge-transfer from the negatively charged ligands to the uranyl unit or a covalent interaction. The charge-transfer and the covalent interaction are qualitatively different due to the absence of a charge build up in the uranyl-halide bond region in the latter case. In all the charged complexes, the uranyl-ligand bond is best described as an ionic interaction. However, there are covalent contributions in the very stable peroxide complex and, to some extent, also in the carbonate complex. This study demonstrates that it is possible to describe the nature of chemical bond by observables rather than by ad hoc quantities such as atomic populations or molecular orbitals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 116, no 50, 12373-12380 p.
National Category
Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics Physical Chemistry
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-87139DOI: 10.1021/jp3091123ISI: 000312519800020OAI: diva2:601094


Available from: 2013-01-28 Created: 2013-01-28 Last updated: 2013-01-28Bibliographically approved

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