Crystal chemistry and application development of uranyl extended structure and nanoscale materials and actinyl ion-substituted mineral phases

Doctoral Dissertation


The worldwide use of nuclear energy presents both significant advantages and challenges for society. Actinide research seeks to address these challenges and drive advancement in the fields of nuclear science and engineering. Here, key aspects of the fuel cycle are examined from both a fundamental and an applications-based perspective. Hydrothermal, ionothermal, room-temperature evaporation, and liquid diffusion synthesis techniques and single-crystal X-ray diffraction were used to study the structures of 18 uranyl compounds and six actinyl-doped mineral phases. These compounds represent a diverse group ranging from unique molecular clusters to novel and known extended structures isolated from aqueous and ionic liquid media. Ultrafiltration techniques were utilized to separate uranyl peroxide nanoclusters from complex aqueous solutions. Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy and mass spectrometry were used to quantify elemental distributions in the feed and permeate solutions while Raman spectroscopy, small-angle X-ray scattering, and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry were used to define the characteristics of the cluster species across a range different solution conditions.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-07102014-141655

Author Ernest Wylie
Advisor Peter Burns
Contributor Amy Hixon, Committee Member
Contributor Jeremy Fein, Committee Member
Contributor Antonio Simonetti, Committee Member
Contributor Peter Burns, Committee Chair
Degree Level Doctoral Dissertation
Degree Discipline Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
Degree Name Doctor of Philosophy
Defense Date
  • 2014-07-08

Submission Date 2014-07-10
  • United States of America

  • uranium mineralogy

  • uranyl peroxide nanoclusters

  • actinide materials

  • ionic liquids

  • separations science

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Embargo Release Date
  • 2015-07-22

Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units

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