As the human race continues to consume power and resources at ever increasing levels, the ability to harness the energy contained within the nucleus of the uranium atom will play an integral role in meeting our future energy demands. However, processes involved with the production of energy or weapons by nuclear fission reactions create a whole suite of waste streams with serious environmental consequences. Study of the crystal chemistry of uranium compounds is essential for understanding the chemical and physical properties of materials necessary for the safe disposal of radioactive materials.
Hydrothermal and room temperature synthesis techniques and single-crystal Xray diffraction were used to study the structural details of 32 uranyl compounds. These compounds include a unique family of uranyl peroxide polyoxometalates with closed topologies, and novel structures of uranyl chromate chain, sheet, and framework structures with interesting coordination geometry for solid-state hexavalent uranium.