Exploring the border of the periodic table: new concepts in uranium chemistry

Giovedì 13 aprile 2023 - Ore 11:30 - Aula 22
Dott. Luciano Barluzzi - University of Sussex, Department of Chemistry, Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK

Small molecules activation is a challenge in modern chemistry. The use of cheap and abundant molecules such as N2, H2, CO2, or CO as energy supplies or precursors for fine chemicals production is highly desirable. The only industrial process which uses the ubiquitous molecule N2 is the Haber-Bosch process to produce NH3, consuming approximately 2% of the world energy yearly. Low valent uranium complexes have been proven to be ideal candidates in the field of small molecule activation such as N2. Despite its relative abundance in the earth crust and its widespread use in the nuclear industry, the chemistry of uranium compounds is relatively underdeveloped and poorly understood. Actinides and uranium possess accessible 5f orbitals, making their chemical properties unique and lying between those of transition metals and lanthanides. The radial extension of 5f orbitals allows uranium to engage in the formation of multiple bonds. Amongst multiply bonded species, uranium nitrides, long-sought intermediates in the activation of N2 by uranium complexes, are extremely important considering their potential use in N-functionalization processes. The current seminar is about recent advances in the chemistry of uranium compounds in the context of small molecule activation.