Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.139, No.38, 13361-13375, 2017
Electronic Structure and Properties of Berkelium Iodates
The reaction of Bk-249(OH)(4) with iodate under hydro thermal conditions results in the formation of Bk(IO3)(3) as the major product with trace amounts of Bk(IO3)(4) also crystallizing from the reaction mixture. The structure of Bk(Io(3))(3) consists of nine-coordinate BO cations that are bridged by iodate anions to yield layers that are isomorphous with those found for Am-III, Cf-III, and with lanthanides that possess similar ionic radii. Bk(IO3)(4) was expected to adopt the same structure as M(IO3)(4) (M = Ce, Np, Pu), but instead parallels the structural chemistry of the smaller Zr-IV cation. Bk-III-O and Bk-IV-O bond lengths are shorter than anticipated and provide further support for a postcurium break in the actinide series. Photoluminescence and absorption spectra collected from single crystals of Bk(IO3)(4) show evidence for doping with Bkill in these crystals. In addition to luminescence from Bkul in the Bk(IO3)(4) crystals, a broad-band absorption feature is initially present that is similar to features observed in systems with intervalence charge transfer. However, the high-specific activity of Bk-249 (t(1/2) = 320 d) causes oxidation of Bk-III and only Bk-IV is present after a few days with concomitant loss of both the Bk-III luminescence and the broadband feature. The electronic structure of Bk(IO3)(3) and Bk(IO3)(4) were examined using a range of computational methods that include density functional theory both on clusters and on periodic structures, relativistic ab initio wave function calculations that incorporate spin orbit coupling (CASSCF), and by a full-model Hamiltonian with spin-orbit coupling and Slater-Condon parameters (CONDON). Some of these methods provide evidence for an asymmetric ground state present in Bk-IV that does not strictly adhere to Russel Saunders coupling and Hund's Rule even though it possesses a half-filled Sf(7) shell. Multiple factors contribute. to the asymmetry that include 5f electrons being present in microstates that are not solely spin up, spin-orbit coupling induced mixing of low-lying excited states with the ground state, and covalency in the Bk-IV-O bonds that distributes the 5f electrons onto the ligands. These factors are absent or diminished in other f(7) ions such as Gd-III or Cm-III.