A many-body potential approach to modelling the thermomechanical properties of actinide oxides

MWD Cooper and MJD Rushton and RW Grimes, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-CONDENSED MATTER, 26, 105401 (2014).

DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/26/10/105401

A many-body potential model for the description of actinide oxide systems, which is robust at high temperatures, is reported for the first time. The embedded atom method is used to describe many-body interactions ensuring good reproduction of a range of thermophysical properties (lattice parameter, bulk modulus, enthalpy and specific heat) between 300 and 3000 K for AmO2, CeO2, CmO2, NpO2, ThO2, PuO2 and UO2. Additionally, the model predicts a melting point for UO2 between 3000 and 3100 K, in close agreement with experiment. Oxygen-oxygen interactions are fixed across the actinide oxide series because it facilitates the modelling of oxide solid solutions. The new potential is also used to predict the energies of Schottky and Frenkel pair disorder processes.

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