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Synthesis, characterization, and stability of Americium Phosphate, AmPO4

Abstract: 

AmPO4 was prepared by a solid-state reaction method, and its crystal structure at room temperature was solved by powder X-ray diffraction combined with Rietveld refinement. The purity of the monazite-like phase was confirmed by spectroscopic (high-resolution solid-state 31P NMR and Raman) and microscopic (SEM-EDX and TEM) techniques. The thermal and self-irradiation stability have been studied. The compound is stable under argon and air atmosphere at least up to 1773 K. It remains crystalline under self-irradiation for circa two months, with a crystallographic volume swelling of ∼1.5%, and then is amorphizing over a year. However, microcrystals are present in the amorphous material even after a two year period of time. All these characteristics are discussed in relation to the potential application of AmPO4 as a stable form of Am in radioisotope power sources for space exploration and of behavior of the monazites under irradiation.