Theoretical study of the structural properties of plutonium(IV) and (VI) complexes

Samuel Odoh, Georg Schreckenbach

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The structural properties of several plutonium(IV) and (VI) complexes have been examined in the gaseous and aqueous phases using Kohn-Sham density functional theory calculations with scalar relativistic effective core potentials and the polarizable continuum solvation model. The aquo and nitrate complexes of PuO22+ and Pu4+ were considered in addition to the aquo-chloro complexes of PuO22+. The nitrate and chloro- complexes formed with triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) and tributylphosphate (TBP) respectively were also studied. The structural parameters of the plutonyl complexes were compared to their uranyl and neptunyl analogues. The bond lengths and vibrational frequencies of the plutonyl complexes can generally be computed with sufficient accuracy with the pure PBE density functional with shorter bond lengths being predicted by the B3LYP functional. The structural parameters of the [PuO2Cl 2L2] systems formed with TPPO and TBP as well as the aqueous [PuO2Cl2(H2O)3] complex are matched to previous experimental results. Overall, the inclusion of ligands in the equatorial region results in significant changes in the stretching frequency of the plutonyl group. The structural features of the plutonyl (VI) systems are rather similar to those of their 5f0 uranyl and 5f1 neptunyl counterparts. For the Pu(IV) aquo and nitrate complexes, the average of the calculated Pu-OH2 and Pu-Onitrate bond lengths are generally within 0.04 Å of the reported experimental values. Overall Kohn-Sham DFT can be used successfully in predicting the structures of this diverse set of Pu(VI) and Pu(IV) complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14110-14119
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 8 2011


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