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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Gas-Phase Oxidation of Cm+ and Cm2+ -- Thermodynamics of neutral and ionized CmO


Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry was employed to study the products and kinetics of gas-phase reactions of Cm+ and Cm2+; parallel studies were carried out with La+/2+, Gd+/2+ and Lu+/2+. Reactions with oxygen-donor molecules provided estimates for the bond dissociation energies, D[M+-O] (M = Cm, Gd, Lu). The first ionization energy, IE[CmO], was obtained from the reactivity of CmO+ with dienes, and the second ionization energies, IE[MO+] (M = Cm, La, Gd, Lu), from the rates of electron-transfer reactions from neutrals to the MO2+ ions. The following thermodynamic quantities for curium oxide molecules were obtained: IE[CmO] = 6.4+-0.2 eV; IE[CmO+] = 15.8+-0.4 eV; D[Cm-O] = 710+-45 kJ mol-1; D[Cm+-O] = 670+-40 kJ mol-1; and D[Cm2+-O] = 342+-55 kJ mol-1. Estimates for the M2+-O bond energies for M = Cm, La, Gd and Lu are all intermediate between D[N2-O] and D[OC-O]--i.e., 167 kJ mol-1 < D[M2+-O] < 532 kJ mol-1 -- such that the four MO2+ ions fulfill the thermodynamic requirement for catalytic O-atom transport from N2O to CO. It was demonstrated that the kinetics are also favorable and that the CmO2+, LaO2+, GdO2+ and LuO2+ dipositive ions each catalyze the gas-phase oxidation of CO to CO2 by N2O. The CmO2+ ion appeared during the reaction of Cm+ with O2 when the intermediate, CmO+, was not collisionally cooled -- although its formation is kinetically and/or thermodynamically unfavorable, CmO2+ is a stable species.

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