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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Synthesis, structure elucidation and redox properties of 99Tc complexes of lacunary Wells Dawson polyoxometalates: insights into molecular 99Tc - metal oxide interactions


The isotope 99Tc (beta max: 250 keV, half-life: 2 x 105 year) is an abundant product of uranium-235 fission in nuclear reactors and is present throughout the radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at Hanford and Savannah River. Understanding and controlling the extensive redox chemistry of 99Tc is important to identify tunable strategies to separate 99Tc from spent fuel and from waste tanks and once separated, to identify and develop an appropriately stable waste-form for 99Tc. Polyoxometalates (POMs), nanometer sized models for metal oxide solid-state materials, are used in this study to provide a molecular level understanding of the speciation and redox chemistry of incorporated 99Tc. In this study, 99Tc complexes of the (alpha 2-P2W17O61)10- and (alpha 1-P2W17O61)10- isomers were prepared. Ethylene glycol was used as a "transfer ligand" to minimize the formation of TcO2 cdot xH2O. The solution structures, formulations, and purity of TcVO(alpha 1/alpha 2-P2W17O61)7- were determined by multinuclear NMR. X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy of the complexes are in agreement with the formulation and structures determined from 31P and 183W NMR. Preliminary electrochemistry results are consistent with the EXAFS results, showing a facile reduction of the TcVO(alpha 1-P2W17O61)7- species compared to the TcVO(alpha 2-P2W17O61)7- analog. The alpha1- defect is unique in that a basic oxygen atom is positioned toward the alpha1- site and the TcVO center appears to form a dative metal-metal bond with a framework W site. These attributes may lead to the assistance of protonation events that facilitate reduction. Electrochemistry comparison shows that the ReV analogs are about 200 mV more difficult to reduce in accordance with periodic trends.

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