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Synthesis of Colloidal Uranium−Dioxide Nanocrystals

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journal contribution
posted on 27.12.2006 by Huimeng Wu, Yongan Yang, Y. Charles Cao
In this paper, we have developed an organic-phase synthesis method for producing size-controlled, nearly monodispersed, colloidal uranium−dioxide nanocrystals. These UO2 nanocrystals are potentially important to applications such as nuclear fuel materials, catalysts, and thermopower materials. In addition, we have systematically mapped out the functions of the solvents (oleic acid, oleylamine, and 1-octadecene) in the synthesis, and we found that N-(cis-9-octadecenyl)oleamidea product of the condensation of oleic acid and oleylaminecan substantially affect the formation of UO2 nanocrystals. Importantly, these results provide fundamental insight into the mechanisms of UO2 nanocrystal synthesis. Moreover, because a mixture of oleic acid and oleylamine has been widely used in synthesizing a variety of high-quality metal or metal-oxide nanocrystals, the results herein should also be important for understanding the detailed mechanisms of these syntheses.