Polyoxometalates (POMs) are unique metal-oxide clusters that are of particular interest due to their wide array of applications including medicine, oxidation catalysis, magnetic materials, and nanotechnology. Phosphotungstic acid (PTA) is a Keggin polyoxometalate with the chemical formula H3[α-PW12O40]. When one of the tungsten atoms (along with its terminal oxygen) is removed, the monovacant lacunary POM is formed. Lacunary POMs are of importance because the vacant site is reactive and coordination with other atoms or groups of atoms is possible. The coordination of lacunary POMs with uranium is of current interest due to the possible compaction and storage of nuclear waste. In this work, three lacunary POM syntheses were attempted and analyzed through spectroscopic methods including infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Neodymium is chemically similar to uranium, and neodymium was used in the present research. Phosphotungstic acid was attached to colloidal metal oxide particles, and its interaction with neodymium was analyzed through spectroscopic methods. Future research plans include examining lacunary POMs on colloidal particles and studying this material’s interaction with neodymium.
Megan Michalski, ’09 Rome, NY
Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biology
Craig Teague, Ph.D.
Sponsor: Craig Teague