Structural correspondence between uranyl chloride complexes in solution and their stability constants.


Pair-distribution functions (PDF)s were obtained from high-energy X-ray scattering (HEXS) data on a series of uranyl solutions as a function of chloride ion concentration. Analyses reveal that chloride forms only inner-sphere complexes with the uranyl, replacing inner-sphere waters such that the total uranyl coordination number decreases from 4.7 waters at [Cl(-)] = 0 m to 4.4 (1.7 water and 2.7 Cl(-)) at [Cl(-)] = 6.8 m. Some of the second-coordination sphere waters reorient upon uranyl inner-sphere chloride complexation in order to hydrogen bond with the bound anion. Similar data obtained on a series of solutions maintained at constant ionic strength are used to confirm structural assignments through determining stability constants for the addition of chloride to uranyl and comparison with published values. The stability constants, β(1) = 1.5(10) m(-1), β(2) = 0.8(4) m(-2), and β(3) = 0.4(1) m(-3), obtained in a series of solutions with constant ionic strength of 5.3 m, are in reasonable agreement with previously published results determined by solvent extraction. The agreement of stability constants supports our peak assignments for the PDF and thus our structural model for uranyl chloride complexes in solution. Using coordination numbers and speciation determined here as a function of chloride ion concentration, the monochloro species is found to have four coordinating waters in the uranyl equatorial plane, the dichoro species is found to be an equilibrium of three and two coordinating waters, and the trichloro species has only a single water in the equatorial plane. These values correspond to total average coordination numbers of 5, 4.3, and 4 for the mono-, di-, and trichlorouranyl complexes. From the equilibrium value of the dichloro species, it can be further estimated that ΔG = -0.5 kcal/mol for the conversion of five to four coordinate species. Overall, the HEXS data support the assertion that uranyl chloride correlations do exist and the results are not simply the result of solvent-ion effects.

DOI: 10.1021/jp111551t

Cite this paper

@article{Soderholm2011StructuralCB, title={Structural correspondence between uranyl chloride complexes in solution and their stability constants.}, author={L Soderholm and S. Skanthakumar and Richard E. Wilson}, journal={The journal of physical chemistry. A}, year={2011}, volume={115 19}, pages={4959-67} }