Document Type

Annual Report

Publication Date



Synthesis of actinium mononitrides using carbothermic reduction of the corresponding oxides has a few outstanding issues, including the formation of secondary phases such as oxides and carbides and low densities of the final product. Furthermore the requirement of a high process temperature at 1700°C, for more than 12 hours is also a drawback particularly for Americium-bearing samples. Therefore, it is important to explore the use of other possible routes to synthesize actinide mononitrides.

A low temperature process is used in this research to produce actinide mononitrides using a fluoride route in which the first step is to mix the actinide oxide with NH4HF2. The second step involves the heat-treatment of the resulting ammonium actinide fluoride salts in ammonia atmosphere. Using different analytical techniques available, the experimental conditions can be studied and optimized to synthesize the required materials with high phase purity. Such available techniques are X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetry and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (TG/DSC), and microscopic techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Once the experimental conditions are studied and optimized, a number of actinide nitride systems (uranium, thorium, and neptunium) will be synthesized and characterized to provide knowledge on the chemistry of the systems. Characterization of these nitride systems will include chemical phase identification, lattice parameter refinements, morphological studies, microstructural verifications, thermal behavior, reaction mechanism, and reaction kinetics.


Mixed oxide fuels (Nuclear engineering); Nuclear chemistry; Nuclear fuels; Solid oxide fuel cells; Transmutation (Chemistry)


Nuclear | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy