The project f-Char funded by the BMBF (project number 02NUK059) is a collaborative project together with Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT-INE and KIT-AOC), Research Center Jülich (FZJ-IEK6), the University of Heidelberg (Physical Chemistry) and the University of Erlangen (Inorganic und General Chemistry). It acquires a total fund of approx. 2.6 Million € for a period of three years (from Oct. 2020 to Sep. 2023).
The project aims to investigate the subtle differences of actinide and lanthanide ions coordination and aims to characterize and quantify the complexation by organic ligands. By using soft-donor ligands (e.g. nitrogen donors) the differences in actinide and lanthanide coordination can be magnified. To achieve the envisioned aim of the project new soft-donor ligands are synthesized and their respective complexation reactions are investigated by using an extensive array of complementary instrumentation to characterize the thermodynamic and structural characteristics of the respective lanthanide and actinide complexes.
To further expand the knowledge of the chemistry of the f elements experimental data acquired in this project will serve as basis for fundamental quantum chemical investigations. This deepened knowledge as well as the newly developed and improved ligands will serve as valuable input for the development of innovative separation processes. Newly synthesized complexing agents will be investigated regarding their potential to separate actinides in process like decontamination (e.g. of salt brines) or lanthanides in applications like rare earth recycling. Furthermore the potential of respective uranium complexes to serve as catalysts for the activation of small molecules (e.g. H2O, CO2, SO2) will be studied. The results of this project may initiate further studies in radiopharmacy as well.
PhD students funded by the project:
- Tamara Duckworth (Jan. 2021 -)
- Boseok Hong (Feb. 2021 -)