Quantifying the Sigma and Pi interactions between U(V) f orbitals and halide, alkyl, alkoxide, amide and ketimide ligands
f Orbital bonding in actinide and lanthanide complexes is critical to their behavior in a variety of areas from separations to magnetic properties. Octahedral f1 hexahalide complexes have been extensively used to study f orbital bonding due to their simple electronic structure and extensive spectroscopic characterization. The recent expansion of this family to include alkyl, alkoxide, amide, and ketimide ligands presents the opportunity to extend this study to a wider variety of ligands. To better understand f orbital bonding in these complexes, the existing molecular orbital (MO) model was refined to include the effect of covalency on spin orbit coupling in addition to its effect on orbital angular momentum (orbital reduction). The new MO model as well as the existing MO model and the crystal field (CF) model were applied to the octahedral f1 complexes to determine the covalency and strengths of the ? and ? bonds formed by the f orbitals. When covalency is significant, MO models more precisely determined the strengths of the bonds derived from the f orbitals; however, when covalency was small, the CF model was better than either MO model. The covalency determined using the new MO model is in better agreement with both experiment and theory than that predicted by the existing MO model. The results emphasize the role played by the orbital energy in determining the strength and covalency of bonds formed by the f orbitals.