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Structure Analytics

The chemical and physical properties of a material are determined by its chemical composition, chemical bonds and particularly by its structure, no matter if crystalline or amorphous materials (glasses) are investigated. Ceramics and glasses are considered optimal materials for the immobilization of actinides. For the disposal of fission products alternative materials can be considered, e.g. so-called Geopolymers and APTM (acid phosphates of tetravalent metals), where the latter can serve as precursor materials for the synthesis of several diphosphates. For the purpose of understanding material properties and for the development of such new materials, knowing the structure is an indispensable prerequisite. As an example monazite (Ln,An)PO4 can be considered as a solid solution with varying amounts of lanthanide (Ln) and actinide (An) cations. The crystal structures of such mixed phases are determined as a function of chemical composition, temperature, pressure and e.g. radiation damage, using X-ray diffraction and spectroscopic methods (Raman, IR, MAS-NMR, XANES/EXAFS, XPS). The structures of amorphous phases like geopolymers are analyzed by the determination of pair distribution functions (PDF) using synchrotron diffraction data.

At IEK-6, structure research is performed using the analytical methods mentioned above as well as thermal analysis, leaching experiments and computer simulations. X-ray synchrotron diffraction and spectroscopy experiments are performed at large research facilities like HASYLAB (Hamburg) or ESRF (Grenoble). Neutron diffraction experiments are performed in cooperation with the RWTH Aachen, e.g. at the nuclear research reactor FRM II (Garching). Structure models are generated directly from crystal structure refinements or by computer simulations (Reverse Monte Carlo for amorphous phases).

Additional Information


PD Dr. Hartmut Schlenz

Tel.: +49 2461 61-1757
Fax: +49 2461 61-2450