Bridging a Gap in Actinide Chemistry

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Science  16 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5742, pp. 1823-1824
DOI: 10.1126/science.1118701

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Knowledge of the chemical behavior of actinide elements such as uranium and plutonium is vital to developing nuclear fuel cycles, predicting environmental behavior of contaminants, and other applications. Actinide oxides and nitrides are particularly interesting, although molecular parallels have only existed for the former. In her Perspective, Burns discusses results reported in the same issue by Evans et al. in which the first simple molecular nitrides of uranium were prepared. The achievement of this key synthetic target will offer fresh opportunities for exploring chemical bonding and novel reactivity.