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Experimental verification of the need for either jj or intermediate coupling in the 5f states of plutonium

  • K. T. Moore (a1), M. A. Wall (a1), A. J. Schwartz (a1), B. W. Chung (a1), J. G. Tobin (a1), D. K. Shuh (a2) and R. K. Schulze (a3)...


Here, we demonstrate the power of electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) in a transmission electron microscope (TEM) to investigate the electronic structure plutonium. Using EELS, TEM, and synchrotron-radiation-based X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), we provide the first experimental evidence that Russell-Saunders (LS) coupling fails for the 5f states of Pu. These results support the assumption that only the use of jj or intermediate coupling is appropriate for the 5f states of Pu. EELS experiments were performed in a TEM and are coupled with image and diffraction data, therefore, the measurements are completely phase specific. It is shown that EELS in a TEM may be used to circumvent the difficulty of producing single-phase or single-crystal samples due to its high spatial resolution.



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