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Infrared Spectroscopy of Discrete Uranyl Anion Complexes

Abstract : The Free-Electron Laser for Infrared Experiments (FELIX) was used to study the wavelength-resolved multiple photon photodissociation of discrete, gas-phase uranyl (UO$_2$$^{2+}$) complexes containing a single anionic ligand (A), with or without ligated solvent molecules (S). The uranyl antisymmetric and symmetric stretching frequencies were measured for complexes with general formula [UO$_2$A(S)$_n$]$^+$, where A was hydroxide, methoxide, or acetate; S was water, ammonia, acetone, or acetonitrile; and n = 0−3. The values for the antisymmetric stretching frequency for uranyl ligated with only an anion ([UO$_2$A]$^+$) were as low or lower than measurements for [UO$_2$]$^{2+}$ ligated with as many as five strong neutral donor ligands and are comparable to solution-phase values. This result was surprising because initial DFT calculations predicted values that were 30−40 cm$^{-1}$ higher, consistent with intuition but not with the data. Modification of the basis sets and use of alternative functionals improved computational accuracy for the methoxide and acetate complexes, but calculated values for the hydroxide were greater than the measurement regardless of the computational method used. Attachment of a neutral donor ligand S to [UO$_2$A]$^+$ produced [UO$_2$AS]$^+$, which produced only very modest changes to the uranyl antisymmetric stretch frequency, and did not universally shift the frequency to lower values. DFT calculations for [UO$_2$AS]$^+$ were in accord with trends in the data and showed that attachment of the solvent was accommodated by weakening of the U-anion bond as well as the uranyl. When uranyl frequencies were compared for [UO$_2$AS]$^+$ species having different solvent neutrals, values decreased with increasing neutral nucleophilicity.
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Gary Groenewold, Anita Gianotto, Michael Mcilwain, Michael van Stipdonk, Michael Kullman, et al.. Infrared Spectroscopy of Discrete Uranyl Anion Complexes. Journal of Physical Chemistry A, American Chemical Society, 2008, 112 (3), pp.508-521. ⟨10.1021/jp077309q⟩. ⟨cea-02353204⟩

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