Covalency Trends in Antinides

October 30, 2015

Stosh Kozimor

Covalency is a fundamental concept in chemistry used to describe chemical bonding
in s-, p-, d-, and f-block elements. However, given the restrictions of existing experimental
techniques, the degree of covalency of a given bond is difficult to measure and is often
estimated or inferred. This situation was recently altered by the pioneering work of Solomon,
Hedman, and Hodgson who used ligand K-edge X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) to
directly measure covalency in bonding. We are currently expanding this technique to
complexes that contain heavy atoms in an effort to improve contemporary descriptions of
covalency, electronic structure, and bonding in actinides. These studies are providing unique
insight to evaluate the relative roles of d- and f-orbitals in bonding, and these results will be
presented in the context of recent advances in f-element chemical reactivity that cannot be
easily explained using a traditional description of f-element electronic structure.