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Complexation of Curium(III) with DTPA at 10–70 °C: Comparison with Eu(III)–DTPA in Thermodynamics, Luminescence, and Coordination Modes

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journal contribution
posted on 16.02.2015, 00:00 by Guoxin Tian, Zhiyong Zhang, Leigh R. Martin, Linfeng Rao
Separation of trivalent actinides (An­(III)) from trivalent lanthanides (Ln­(III)) is a challenging task because of the nearly identical chemical properties of these groups. Diethylenetriaminepentaacetate (DTPA), a key reagent used in the TALSPEAK process that effectively separates An­(III) from Ln­(III), is believed to play a critical role in the An­(III)/Ln­(III) separation. However, the underlying principles for the separation based on the difference in the complexation of DTPA with An­(III) and Ln­(III) remain unclear. In this work, the complexation of DTPA with Cm­(III) at 10–70 °C was investigated by spectrophotometry, luminescence spectroscopy, and microcalorimetry, in conjunction with computational methods. The binding strength, the enthalpy of complexation, the coordination modes, and the luminescence properties are compared between the Cm­(III)–DTPA and Eu­(III)–DTPA systems. The experimental and computational data demonstrated that the difference between Cm­(III) and Eu­(III) in the binding strength with DTPA can be attributed to the stronger covalence bonding between Cm­(III) and the nitrogen donors of DTPA.