Researchers from the University of Manchester have used 15N NMR spectroscopy and quantum chemical calculations to measure the covalency of a terminal U(VI)-N triple bond. They have found an exceptional nitride chemical shift and chemical shift anisotropy. The bonding nature for early actinides is generally considered to vary from ionic to polarised-covalent as a function of actinide oxidation state and ligands. These findings, published recently in Nature Communications, have shown that the U(VI)-N bond is not only highly covalent but more so than d-block transition metal analogues. These results will reframe the understanding of actinide chemical bonding to guide future studies.

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