Abstract

A range of uranium compounds have been characterized using micro-Raman spectroscopy. It is possible to easily distinguish the oxides UO<sub>2</sub>, α-U<sub>3</sub>O<sub>8</sub>, and γ-UO<sub>3</sub>. Studies have also investigated the Raman spectra of uranium precursors used for the preparation of these oxides. <i>In situ</i> studies to probe the transformation of uranyl nitrate to uranium oxide show that the nitrate is decomposed below 300°C. Initially an oxide similar to UO<sub>3</sub> is produced, and this oxide gradually transforms to U<sub>3</sub>O<sub>8</sub> as the temperature is increased to 550°C. The use of <i>in situ</i> Raman studies provides a powerful technique to study the mechanism of transformation and the stability of uranium oxides under oxidizing conditions.

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