Energetics of mixing in ThO2-CeO2 fluorite solid solutions

Tatiana Y. Shvareva, Vitaly Alexandrov, Mark Asta, Alexandra Navrotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mixing enthalpies (ΔHmix) of ThO2-CeO 2 solid solutions with respect to cubic fluorite ThO2 and CeO2 have been measured by high temperature oxide melt solution calorimetry. The system shows a slightly positive mixing enthalpy, with a maximum value of ΔHmix = 3.7 ± 2.5 kJ/mol at 50% Ce/(Ce + Th). Based on the regular-solution model, with an interaction parameter of 15.1 ± 2.2 kJ/mol fit to the measured data, the phase diagram is predicted to feature a miscibility gap with a calculated critical temperature of 908 ± 132 K. The results are complemented by density-functional-theory and Monte-Carlo calculations, which provide positive mixing enthalpies and a miscibility-gap phase diagram, in qualitative agreement with calorimetric results. The calculations suggest small effects of short-range order (clustering) on the mixing enthalpy above the miscibility gap. The calculated values of ΔHmix are within the error bars of the measured values, but consistently smaller in magnitude. An analysis of the calculated results indicates that the dominant contribution to the mixing enthalpy arises from the elastic energy associated with cation size mismatch, allowing predictions of the behavior in ThO2-UO2 and ThO 2-PuO2 systems. The analysis also suggests that the slightly smaller values of the computed ΔHmix relative to experiment can be attributed to an underestimation of the magnitude of the elastic moduli in the calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-75
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Volume419
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering

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