Anomalous Valency States of some Lanthanide Elements, Produced by Neutron Irradiation

Taylor, Michael (1985). Anomalous Valency States of some Lanthanide Elements, Produced by Neutron Irradiation. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fcd4

Abstract

This study examines changes in the charge state of some lanthanide elements contained in ionic lattices, bombarded by small fluxes of fast and thermal neutrons accompanied by a minimal gamma flux.

Reduction from Ln3+ to Ln2+ is shown to have taken place by precipitating the latter from aqueous solution onto barium sulphate and examining the beta activity of the precipitate; and independently by measuring the reducing action of the divalent ion on aqueous methylene blue. The extent of the change is shown to be greater than might be expected from the number of neutron-lanthanide interactions. The reduction (demonstrated with neutrons from two independent sources) arises largely from the effects of the fast neutron flux rather than an (n, y) reaction with thermal neutrons. The divalent state survives in aqueous solution for an appreciable time in the absence of rapidly oxidising species.

The study is principally concerned with the reactions of dysprosium and europium; it is suggested that the method of inducing reaction can be extended to other elements in the series with a good chance of success.

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