Researchers at the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Notre Dame have successfully applied X-ray scattering techniques to determine how dissolved metal ions interact in solution.
These findings will help researchers better understand how metal ions, such as those found in nuclear waste and industrial processes, behave in the environment. The results show that the ion structures are visible in solution and can reveal their interactions with other ions.
Experiments for this work were conducted at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source. For this research, thin beams of high-energy X-rays were used to bombard the dissolved ions. When the X-rays scattered off the solutions, special cameras equipped to detect them mapped out their two-dimensional pattern.
The detailed results of these findings were published in the paper “Structures of Dimeric Hydrolysis Products of Thorium,” as well as in the journal Inorganic Chemistry.
Funding for this project was provided by DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences, and Division of Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences.