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From a phenomenological analysis of phase stabilization in the binary actinide alloy systems, U�Pu, U�Np�Pu and U�transition metals, the existence of a relatively stable electronic complex with the configuration (5f nd) is deduced. It must be formed by itinerant 5f and nd electron states with n=3, 4, 5, 6 and v should be a fractional number since only band states are involved. The stability of the complexes should depend on temperature. In alpha-Pa, equal numbers of 5f and 6d states in the valence electron system result: (i) in a (5f6d) supercomplex which correlates with the unique crystal structure of alpha-Pa and (ii) with metal properties which rather resemble those of alpha-Th than that of alpha-U. The alleged properties of the complex are discussed and compared with the thermal behavior of alpha-Pa and of the alpha-U on approaching the alpha/beta transition temperatures and Pa should play a key role for understanding the temperature effects in the light actinide series. In a following paper, the literature on fabrication and properties of Pa metal is critically reviewed for the comparison of relevant properties between alpha-Th, alpha-Pa and alpha-U.

Additional information

Authors: BLANK H, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Emements, Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Volume 343, Issues 1-2, 16 September 2002, pp.90-107.
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Record Number: 200215693 / Last updated on: 2002-12-23
Original language: en
Available languages: en