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Quenching Mechanism of Uranyl(VI) by Chloride and Bromide in Aqueous and Non-Aqueous Solutions

Haubitz, T.; Drobot, B.; Tsushima, S.; Steudtner, R.; Stumpf, T.; Kumke, M. U.

A major hindrance in utilizing uranyl(VI) luminescence as a standard analytical tool, for example, in environmental monitoring or nuclear industries, is quenching by other ions such as halide ions, which are present in many relevant matrices of uranyl(VI) speciation. Here, we demonstrate through a combination of time-resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy, transient absorption spectroscopy, and quantum chemistry that coordinating solvent molecules play a crucial role in U(VI) halide luminescence quenching. We show that our previously suggested quenching mechanism based on an internal redox reaction of the 1:2-uranyl−halide-complex holds also true for bromide-induced quenching of uranyl(VI). By adopting specific organic solvents, we were able to suppress the separation of the oxidized halide ligand X2·− and the formed uranyl(V) into fully solvated ions, thereby “reigniting” U(VI) luminescence. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations show that quenching occurs through the outer-sphere complex of U(VI) and halide in water, while the ligand-tometal charge transfer is strongly reduced in acetonitrile.

Publ.-Id: 32687