Actinide solids 5f dependence of physical properties

  • J. M. Fournier
  • L. Manes
Conference paper
Part of the Structure and Bonding book series (STRUCTURE, volume 59/60)


This chapter is an introduction to the main concepts underlying the present unterstanding of the physical properties of actinide solids.

In the first half of the actinide series the elements behave as 5 f transition metals; 5 f electrons are then described as itinerant in metallic solids. Between plutonium and americium a cross-over from itineracy to localization, i.e. a true Mott transition is observed. Heavier actinides have a lanthanide-like behaviour, the 5 f states exhibiting similar properties to the 4 f states in lanthanides.

The characteristics of 5 f wavefunctions in the actinide atom as well as in actinide solids are reviewed. In the latter, overlapping of 5 f wavefunctions between neighbouring atoms as well as their hybridization with other orbitals (actinide 6 d, or orbitals of non-actinide elements in compounds) are pointed out as being the two phenomena determining physical properties and bonding characteristics, in particular magnetism. Theories describing them, in particular Stoner's and Mott-Hubbard's models, are discussed in the light of their application to actinide physics.

A short summary is presented of the main experimental evidence which justifies the theoretical decription of actinide solids.


Wave Function Local Density Approximation Outer Electron Hill Plot Electronic Specific Heat 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. M. Fournier
    • 1
  • L. Manes
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Grenoble and Centre d'Etudes Nucléaires de GrenobleGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.Commission of the European Communities, Joint Research Centre, Karlsruhe EstablishmentEuropean Institute of Transuranium ElementsKarlsruheFRG

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