Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chemists Make First-Ever Compounds Of Noble Gases And Uranium

Date:
April 5, 2002
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Ohio State University chemists and their colleagues at the University of Virginia have created the first-ever compounds of uranium bonded to atoms of three so-called "noble gases" -- argon, krypton, and xenon.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State University chemists and their colleagues at the University of Virginia have created the first-ever compounds of uranium bonded to atoms of three so-called "noble gases" -- argon, krypton, and xenon.

In the last 40 years, scientists have only been able to form compounds from noble gases a handful of times. These chemical outcasts were once thought incapable of forming bonds with other elements, and until the 1960s were considered completely inert.

The chemists published their results Thursday, February 28, in the journal Science, available online via ScienceExpress.

The same technique that created these uranium compounds might be used to link noble gases to other metals, said Bruce Bursten, professor and chair of chemistry at Ohio State.

Bursten's coauthors include Jun Li, a former Ohio State research scientist now at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Lester Andrews, professor of chemistry, and Binyong Liang, a chemistry graduate student, both of the University of Virginia.

The chemists created their first noble gas compound by chance, Bursten said, largely because of some unexpected results obtained by the Virginia group in some follow-up experiments.

"It's like that quote, 'luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,'" he said. "We got lucky. We were working hard to cover all bases on a different aspect of the chemistry, and when we got some strange results, we were able to recognize what was happening."

They were studying a molecule with the formula CUO, which is formed from the reaction of uranium atoms with carbon monoxide. The Ohio State and Virginia teams have been studying molecules like CUO in order to better understand how the radioactive metals react with small molecules, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and water.

Using equipment at the University of Virginia, they produced molecules of CUO in the noble gas neon. For that experiment, the neon atoms simply formed a protective "cage" around the CUO at very low temperatures (4 Kelvin, about -270C or -450F) to preserve the molecules for study.

"We were studying the reactions of uranium atoms with carbon monoxide in solid neon," Andrews said. "When we repeated the experiments in solid argon, we got distinctly different spectra, which was our first clue that an unusually strong interaction was occurring between CUO and argon.

"We then turned to our collaborators at Ohio State to see whether theory predicted a different state for CUO in argon than in neon, and their calculations nicely explained our observations."

In an effort to dissect these strange results, the Ohio State portion of the research team began simulating the interaction of CUO and argon by using theoretical calculations on supercomputers at the Ohio Supercomputer Center and at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Much to the chemists' astonishment, the simulations suggested that the uranium atoms in the CUO were forming bonds with the noble gas atoms.

"We didn't really believe that, so we tried every trick we knew to prove that it wasn't true," Bursten said.

Repeated experiments with mixtures of argon and neon, as well as xenon and krypton, showed that uranium-noble gas compounds were forming. The experimental observations were corroborated by additional theoretical calculations.

"These results expand the means in which the noble gases can form compounds with other elements and give us a new look at the ways in which chemical bonds can form," Bursten said.

The chemists are now investigating the possibility that other uranium compounds and other metals will bind with noble gases under these low-temperature conditions.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Chemists Make First-Ever Compounds Of Noble Gases And Uranium." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402074834.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2002, April 5). Chemists Make First-Ever Compounds Of Noble Gases And Uranium. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402074834.htm
Ohio State University. "Chemists Make First-Ever Compounds Of Noble Gases And Uranium." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020402074834.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins