Transuranium Sulfide via the Boron Chalcogen Mixture Method and Reversible Water Uptake in the NaCu TS3Family

Anna A. Berseneva, Vladislav V. Klepov, Koushik Pal, Kelly Seeley, Daniel Koury, Joseph Schaeperkoetter, Joshua T. Wright, Scott T. Misture, Mercouri G. Kanatzidis, Chris Wolverton, Artem V. Gelis, Hans Conrad Zur Loye*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The behavior of 5f electrons in soft ligand environments makes actinides, and especially transuranium chalcogenides, an intriguing class of materials for fundamental studies. Due to the affinity of actinides for oxygen, however, it is a challenge to synthesize actinide chalcogenides using non-metallic reagents. Using the boron chalcogen mixture method, we achieved the synthesis of the transuranium sulfide NaCuNpS3 starting from the oxide reagent, NpO2. Via the same synthetic route, the isostructural composition of NaCuUS3 was synthesized and the material contrasted with NaCuNpS3. Single crystals of the U-analogue, NaCuUS3, were found to undergo an unexpected reversible hydration process to form NaCuUS3·xH2O (x ≈ 1.5). A large combination of techniques was used to fully characterize the structure, hydration process, and electronic structures, specifically a combination of single crystal, powder, high temperature powder X-ray diffraction, extended X-ray absorption fine structure, infrared, and inductively coupled plasma spectroscopies, thermogravimetric analysis, and density functional theory calculations. The outcome of these analyses enabled us to determine the composition of NaCuUS3·xH2O and obtain a structural model that demonstrated the retention of the local structure within the [CuUS3]- layers throughout the hydration-dehydration process. Band structure, density of states, and Bader charge calculations for NaCuUS3, NaCuUS3·xH2O, and NaCuNpS3 along with X-ray absorption near edge structure, UV-vis-NIR, and work function measurements on ACuUS3 (A = Na, K, and Rb) and NaCuUS3·xH2O samples were carried out to demonstrate that electronic properties arise from the [CuTS3]- layers and show surprisingly little dependence on the interlayer distance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13773-13786
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number30
StatePublished - Aug 3 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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