About the event
Speaker: Ian Haltom
Presentation Title: History and Recent Developments of U-alkyls and U-aryls: An Insight into Covalency
Abstract: Compared to d-block transition metal alkyl and aryl complexes, U-alkyl and U-aryls have received significantly less attention and study. Alkyl and aryl organouranium materials have been sought after since the Manhattan Project due to their potential applications as alternatives to corrosive UF6 in U-235 isotope-enrichment, the key step in both the production of weapons-grade uranium and nuclear fuel production for commercial nuclear power plants. An overwhelming majority of uranium-containing structures have been determined in aqueous media, where uranium tends to exhibit the U (VI) oxidation state, commonly as the uranyl ion UO22+. In organic solutions, however, a multitude of uranium oxidation states from U (II) to U (VI) can be accessed. Altogether, this makes the critical understanding of the fundamental chemistry, synthesis, and speciation of uranium alkyls and aryls a key task in the future of uranium-based materials. In this literature presentation, the history of alkyl and aryl uranium complexes will be discussed, as well as recent studies into the nature of uranium orbital interactions with both σ- and -orbitals of bound ligands, such as benzyl and benzyl derivatives, substituted terphenyls, and substituted phenyls.