Spectroscopic Studies of the Interaction of Schiff Bases with selected Actinides and Lanthanides (U, Cm, Np, Eu)

PhD student:
Katja Schulz
Prof. G. Bernhard, Dr. A. Günther (HZDR)


Radioactive elements can be released into the natural environment especially from mining regions by weathering, erosion and anthropogenic activities as well as by nuclear disasters and thus represent a potential hazard for humans. Currently, new supramolecular complexing molecules with N, O, S donor functions are developed, which should be used target-oriented in the nuclear industry and in the environmental protection to separate metals of the d- and f-block and to clean contaminated areas. An essential basic component of these new organic ligands are the Schiff bases, which in addition to its use as chelating agents in coordination chemistry also have various applications in biological and analytical fields.


This work deals with the interaction of Schiff bases and selected actinides and lanthanides (uranium, curium, neptunium, europium) depending on various factors such as metal and ligand concentration, pH, ionic strength and organic solvents. In addition to the spectroscopic characterization of the complex species, the determination of the complex formation constant is in the focus.

Technical bases:

  • UV-Vis Spectroscopy (UV-Vis)
  • time-resolved laser spectroscopy (TRLFS) at room temperature and low temperature
  • femto second laser spectroscopy (fs-TRLFS)
  • laser-induced photoacoustic spectroscopy (LIPAS)
  • extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS)

Cooperation partner:

  • Technische Universität Dresden (Prof. K. Gloe)
  • Universität Leipzig (Prof. B. Kersting)

This research is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under contact number 02NUK014B (“Multifunctional Complex agents with N,O,S donor function for d- and f- elements: synthesis, complexation, structure and migration behaviour”).