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A Tr Esr Study of the Quenching of Photoexcited Dioxouranium (VI) Salts By Stable Nitroxyl Free Radicals

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TR ESR spectroscopy was applied to the study of the quenching of excited dioxouranium (VI) (uranyl) nitrate and sulfate by stable nitroxyl radicals of the 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPO) family. Photoexcitation of uranyl in solutions of alcohols of moderate viscosity (η = 3-10 cP) in the presence of TEMPO leads to CIDEP signals of TEMPO due to a radical triplet pair mechanism (RTPM). Polarized nitroxyls were also observed in solutions of polyelectrolyte sodium poly(styrenesulfonate), NaPSS, in the presence of the nitroxyl with a positively charged trimethylammonium group. Photolysis of uranyl salts in solutions of alcohols leads to the generation of free radicals of alcohols. No CIDEP of these radicals was observed, distinguishing UΟ22+* from its organic analog, the triplet benzophenone. The probable reason for the lack of polarization in uranyl photoreduction reactions is the difficult access of free radicals to the U atom of the solvated radical UO2+(V); this atom bears the unpaired electron. The role of polyelectrolytes in the enhancement of the quenching of excited states is discussed. Results are in agreement with the statement that photoexcited uranyl has a triplet multiplicity.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York NY 10027, U.S.A.


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